Antiquaries: The Discovery of the Past in Eighteenth-Century Britain

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A&C Black, 2004 M05 28 - 473 pages
Eighteenth-century Britain saw an explosion of interest in its own past, a past now expanded to include more than classical history and high politics.
Antiquaries, men interested in all aspects of the past, added a distinctive new dimension to literature in Georgian Britain in their attempts to reconstruct and recover the past. Corresponding and publishing in an extended network, antiquaries worked at preserving and investigating records and physical remains in England, Scotland and Ireland. In doing so they laid solid foundations for all future study in British prehistory, archaeology and numismatics, and for local and national history as a whole. Naturally, they saw the past partly in their own image. While many antiquaries were better at fieldwork and recording than at synthesis, most were neither crabbed eccentrics nor dilettanti. At their best, as in the works of Richard Gough or William Stukeley, antiquaries set new standards of accuracy and perception in fields ranging from the study of the ancient Britons to that of medieval architecture. Antiquaries is the definitive account of a great historical enterprise.
 

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2004/473p./180

Contents

The Rise of the Antiquary
1
People
31
Antiquarian Societies
81
The Ancient Britons
119
The Romans in Britain
155
The AngloSaxons
189
The Middle Ages
231
Preservation
277
Popularisation
309
Achievement
345
Notes
351
Index
459
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

ROSEMARY SWEET is Lecturer in History at the University of Leicester and the author of. TO COME.

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