Antiquaries at large
The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries
in Writing local history
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This chapter deals with antiquaries. The concept of local history that had been planted in the sixteenth century, and had sprouted in the seventeenth, came into full blossom during the eighteenth century, before fading gently away in the nineteenth. In the course of the eighteenth century antiquarian studies started to fragment, and three separate if overlapping movements can be identified. The first was the evolution of topographical studies into travel and tourist accounts, particularly in conjunction with the picturesque movement of the later eighteenth century. The second was the development within antiquarianism of natural historical and archaeological studies. Archaeology, although still within the family of antiquarian study, was emerging as a discipline in its own right, particularly with the founding in 1770 of the journal Archaeologia. Finally, the county history grew in terms of both output and size.


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