Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Embedr: new tool

Just trying out a new tool, embedr. In this case, selecting a detail (one should always have dogs or horses in an image) from Cornelis Beelt's "Departure of Charles II, King of England, from Scheveningen, 2 June 1660" (painted between then and 1701). Seems pretty intuitive. Kudos.

Detail of 'Departure of Charles II, King of England, from Scheveningen, 2 June 1660' | Beelt, Cornelis | Rijksmuseum |
No rights reserved.No rights reserved.

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earlymodernengland by Newton Key.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Early Modern (Tudor-Stuart) England (Britain) Syllabi (Revised)

from Making of the UK 1500-1750 (BL)
It has been a couple of years, since I revised the list of courses/universities adopting either Early Modern England and/or Sources and Debates in English History, 1485-1714, at some length (e.g., more than one chapter), and whose syllabus or course description are easily available (e.g., not behind an LMS wall). As we work on new editions of both, I thought I'd do so. Added to our list (in left column) are:

I have also updated the following links:
No longer available or readily located are: Early Modern England (Southern Utah), Early Modern Europe, 1500-1800 (Trent), England - Tudors and Stuarts (Pacific Lutheran), England to 1714 (Metropolitan State), Reformation Britain (Utah State), and Tudor and Stuart England, 1485-1689 (Dalhousie). Welcome new users, farewell to old, both in history and literature courses. It is intriguing to see how the subject is variously constructed in time - 1485, 1500, 1603, 1689, etc. - and space - England, Britain, British Isles.

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earlymodernengland by Newton Key.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Imag(in)ing a Printing Revolution

Comedian Paul Foot finishes a stand-up riff on what the decline of the number of shire horses since the 18th-19th centuries means to us today (or doesn't), by asking for us to look at the situation from the point of view of the shire horse. One might also ask about the relation between print and the Glorious Revolution. That is, historians have shown us the important role of pamphlet, broadside, and news in the descent on England of William in 1688 and the revolutionary changes that followed. The stadholder brought along his own printing press to jump start the PR campaign. But what of the point of view of the printers themselves? For some, it was a chance to offload back catalog numbers that might have some relevance to the momentous events and ensuing political debates, however vague. Mark Goldie long ago provided us with a useful checklist of works republished and flogged: A Brief History of the Succession from 1680? - perfect (1688/89); A Treatise on Monarchy from 1643? - great, in fact, 2 editions (1689); Killing No Murder, an attack on Oliver Cromwell, from 1657? - well, why not (1689). People tune in to the news networks today in times of crisis; they turned to pamphlets for the same reasons in the seventeenth century. So a bonanza for anyone in the publishing business, yes?

Englands Chronicle (1689)
But what of those that had projects in the work that became overtaken by events? Of course there were James II's printers. But there were other printers, publishers, and engravers who must have jettisoned some projects, and sought new product for others. Publishers Benj. Crayle, N. Bodington, and G. Conyers must have been among the first to issue a post-Revolution history of England's monarchs: Englands Chronicle: Or, The Lives & Reigns of the Kings and Queens from the Time of Julius Cæsar to the Present Reign of K. William and Q. Mary (London, 1689). The work's scope is timely, right up to the meeting of the Convention of the Estates in Scotland (no mean feat for a work that begins with the giant Albion and other "conjecturals," before launching into Caesar and other Romans and the "Britains," etc.). The work is supposedly by James Heath, but since he died in 1664 and didn't publish a similar work before his death....

But the publishers ran into a bit of problem in providing "copper cuts" equally as timely. Surely the engraver had had quite a different tile in mind when he placed the previous ruler in the center of the engraving, and, indeed, between pillars and garlands? The publishers amended the omission of any image of William and Mary (other than William I and II, and Mary I), by inserting a frontispiece of the current rules for the 1691 edition, which took the story down to the Battle of the Boyne and beyond. Are there other similar refashionings? (By the way, don't those rows of monarchs look like the old children's game "Guess Who?" - gender imbalance and all?)

Another imaging problem I wonder about comes from the school room. E. Cole, The Young Schollar’s Best Companion: Or, An Exact Guide or Directory for Children and Youth was issued in 1690. Its jaunty comparisons between "popery and paganism" and lists of the martyrs of  "popish tyranny" would have been unwelcome in the previous reign. What interests me is school room on the frontispiece surmounted by portraits of William and Mary. When I was young, classrooms usually had portraits of the current American president. Would similar ones of current monarch have been likely in early modern England? And, if so, who held the rights to issue those?

Reference: Goldie, “The Revolution of 1689 and the Structure of Political Argument,” Bulletin of Research in the Humanities 83 (1980): 473–562.

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earlymodernengland by Newton Key.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Anne is Dead!: Anne Lives

Queen Anne is Dead! Not a Smith's song, but an upcoming daylong conference on the end of the Stuart queen's reign and the beginning of a Hanoverian king's, appropriately enough on 1 August. (Germans have jumped ahead to the post-Stuart era - unless one is a Jacobite - with a series of exhibits on The Hanoverians on Britain’s Throne 1714-1837. And the British royal palaces aren't far behind (above, and a fuller list). The anachronism of the paparizzi in this video does make one ask, is there no history of the decline of court culture? were all Stuarts and all Hanoverians equally the center of both elite and popular culture? Did the King (then) have the same star quality as Prince (in the late 1980s)?

Anne Boleyn's Execution from John Stow's Annals (ca.  1603)
From one Anne, to another. Former student, Torie Manning, continues to alert me to things Tudor. Writer Clair Ridgway's blog has provided a list of links to "Cheap Anne Boleyn Resources" (October 3, 2013) from British History Online, Archives.org, Open Library, etc. Student primary source research on the first half of the 16th century begin here. (For a lecture on things Boleyn, and a pro-active Henry VIII, listen to George Bernard's "The Life and Reputation of Anne Boleyn," from November 2013.)

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earlymodernengland by Newton Key.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

On Not Negotiating with Terrorists

Source from Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers
Early modern sieges were as much a matter of writing to/talking with the enemy as fighting them. Certainly a case can be made for Oliver Cromwell viewing at least a portion of the Irish as terrorists: "barbarous wretches, who have imbrued their hands with so much innocent blood." Yet, his letters include many to his besieged Irish enemies negotiating terms of surrender (Ross, etc.). In any case, this selection from the Edinburgh Evening Courant, 7 Jan. 1746, shows a studied refusal to negotiate/exchange hostages with rebels/terrorists, all the while, in fact setting up the terms for negotiating.

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earlymodernengland by Newton Key.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Archive is in the Eye of the Beholder?

In a University of Cambridge post, "Q & A: how archives make history," (7 April 2014) researchers at a recent conference meta-cogitate on the relation between archives and the early modern period. My image on the archive then and now (ok, crowdsourcing, electronic artifacts, editing in the cloud, etc., make it a little different in the 21st century) is Richard Burton looking for a file in the Registry in "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold" (ok, this is more recent version of "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy," but stills of archives on film are hard to find). The file is not there, and there lies the rub. I must admit students beginning their foray into the history profession are less likely to see the romance of a system of organization, less likely to ask, why are the sources where they are, organized the way they are, and who decided to keep them like that. How wonderful, then, to have the brief answers to question such as who created archives, what do the silences or lapses tell us, provided in this run-up to "Transforming Information: Record Keeping in the Early Modern World."

Q&A: how archives make history
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earlymodernengland by Newton Key.

Friday, September 27, 2013

I'm Not Looking for New England...

A recent article maps the major American ancestry by county, and, if ancestry is the reason why folks study a particular type of history, the future of British Studies doesn't look good anywhere in the USA except New England (Jessica Jerreat, “The Map That Shows Where America Came from,” Mail Online, 1 September 2013). And by "British," that mainly means Irish in Massachusetts and Eastern New York. (It doesn't show what is the second largest ancestry claimed in each county, but it is still interesting in terms of identity.) The Appalachians largely think they are American, which might be a political statement, but probably means they are unsure of the background. What might be interesting is to map waves of immigrants over time onto the whole map. Does "English," mean pre-1800 immigration never followed by a significant wave into that area (New Hampshire, Maine) thereafter? (Apologies to the great social history, Kirsty MacColl for use of the title.)

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earlymodernengland by Newton Key.

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