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Queen Boudica and Historical Culture in BritainAn Image of Truth$
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Martha Vandrei

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198816720

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198816720.001.0001

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‘Higher then to her no bookes doe reach’

‘Higher then to her no bookes doe reach’

The Queen and the Antiquary

(p.24) 1 ‘Higher then to her no bookes doe reach’
Queen Boudica and Historical Culture in Britain

Martha Vandrei

Oxford University Press

This chapter and the following both draw the reader into seventeenth-century understandings of the past, and of Boudica in particular, and makes clear that in a time before disciplines, writers of ‘history’ were erudite commentators, immersed in political thought, the classical world, and contemporary ideas, as well as in drama, poetry, and the law. Chapter 1 shows the subtleties of Boudica’s place in history at this early stage by giving sustained attention to the work of Edmund Bolton (1574/5–c.1634), the first person to analyse the written and material evidence for Boudica’s deeds, and the last to do so in depth before the later nineteenth century. Bolton’s distaste for contemporary philosophy and his loyalty to James I were highly influential in determining the way the antiquary approached Boudica and her rebellion; but equally important was Bolton’s deep understanding of historical method and the strictures this placed on his interpretive latitude.

Keywords:   ea modern historical culture, Edmund Bolton (1574/5–c.1634), Tacitus, Neostoicism, James I, historiography

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