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In Defiance of TimeAntiquarian Writing in Early Modern England$
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Angus Vine

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199566198

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199566198.001.0001

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Restoring Britain: Courtesy and Collaboration in Camden's Britannia

Restoring Britain: Courtesy and Collaboration in Camden's Britannia

(p.80) 3 Restoring Britain: Courtesy and Collaboration in Camden's Britannia
In Defiance of Time

Angus Vine (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on what was perhaps the pre-eminent early modern antiquarian book: William Camden's Britannia (1586). It suggests that Camden's work was the first English antiquarian text to find a means of organization adequate for its encyclopedic scope. Revisiting Camden's networks of correspondents and friends, and drawing on extensive archival research, it argues that the key to Camden's success as an antiquary was collaboration. The Britannia should be seen not as the product of one brilliant mind, but as a public collaborative project, which united scholars and schoolmasters — both Continental and provincial — with Camden himself at the heart of this nexus, collating the great mass of antiquarian material. Collaboration therefore needs to be understood as an important antiquarian method.

Keywords:   William Camden, Britannia, collaboration, encyclopaedic, networks, scholars, schoolmasters, method

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