Local history and the physical world
in ‘No historie so meete’
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This chapter is concerned with a number of areas related to the topographical content of local history. It explores the parallels between its development and the appearance of the early county maps and town plans. The chapter examines the ways in which the two forms reflect a similar view of the environment that they describe, and how the perspective of the gentry as the primary consumers shaped their content. It considers the thesis advanced in the 1970s by Margaret Aston, that the physical ruins of monastic buildings and the nostalgia they evoked were a significant factor in the subsequent flowering of antiquarian activity. The chapter also examines how the classical bias of the humanist education received by the gentry influenced their relationship to the physical world. It shows how local historians were predisposed by their education and by the available literary evidence to interpret archaeological remains as Roman in origin.

‘No historie so meete’

Gentry culture and the development of local history in Elizabethan and early Stuart England


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