Material Beginnings: John Leland, John Twyne, John Stow
This chapter focuses on material remains, discussing the antiquarian interest in unearthed objects and antiquities from John Leland to John Stow. The archaeological aspect of antiquarianism has often been considered a 17th-century development, related to the increasing dominance of the peripatetic tradition, but this chapter demonstrates that the interest was present from the outset. It argues that the problem for the 16th-century antiquaries was that they often failed to integrate this interest in their writing. This, it suggests, has led to scholars underestimating its importance. It argues that allusions to antiquities were often made in passing: rather than being subjects of study or discussion in their own right, they tended to form part of larger historical and topographical narratives. Whilst this chapter surveys 16th-century antiquarianism, it focuses most heavily on the humanist and schoolmaster John Twyne and the historian and topographer John Stow.
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