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Spenser’s Forms of History$
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Bart van Es

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199249701

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199249701.001.0001

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‘Written Dialogue-Wise’: Antiquarianism and Ireland’s Conquest

‘Written Dialogue-Wise’: Antiquarianism and Ireland’s Conquest

(p.78) Chapter 3 ‘Written Dialogue-Wise’: Antiquarianism and Ireland’s Conquest
Spenser’s Forms of History

Bart van Es (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the discourses of the Society of Antiquaries. It establishes the importance of antiquarian tradition of debate in relation to Ireland. Beginning with Sir James Ware's first published edition of the View that presented the text very much as an antiquarian tract, this chapter argues that this classification has more validity than has hitherto been acknowledged. It examines in detail the Elizabethan ‘College of Antiquaries’, showing how much their structured debates on questions of English antiquity have in common with Spenser's View. It investigates the latent political significance of the work of the society. It then evaluates that tract's transition from exploration of the past to prescription about the future. It then investigates the structural parallels that further illustrate the significance of ‘discourses’ as a mode through which to explore past practice and present rights.

Keywords:   Society of Antiquaries, Sir James Ware, View, discourses, antiquity, College of Antiquaries, Elizabethan, politics

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