Local Negotiations of English Nationhood, 1570-1680 by John M. Adrian

By John M. Adrian

Even in an age of rising nationhood, English women and men nonetheless proposal a great deal when it comes to their parishes, cities, and counties. This e-book examines the power of early sleek neighborhood attention and its deployment through writers to mediate the bigger political, non secular, and cultural alterations of the 16th and 17th centuries.

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While it is unclear if the work was printed with such an application in mind, the effect is to make the reader an active participant in describing and characterizing the county. In one section, Gerard describes the village of Blandford and the seat of St. Mary. On the facing page, the book owner has pasted in a watercolor of the Dame Mary Oake, a large (and apparently rather famous) tree in the immediate neighborhood (Fig. 2). Since Gerard makes no mention of the tree, the owner has included a short history of the tree along with his own observations: ‘During the Civil War, and till after the Restoration an old person sold Ale in the hollow part of it .

77 The geographical ‘movement’ was not then just an elitist phenomenon; it was experienced on multiple levels of society. Although the particular genre of geographical works that I will discuss next – chorography – was typically written by and for the gentry, it belongs to the wider context of geographical works that I have just described. Chorography As we have just seen, chorography was not the only geographical work that emerged in the second half of the sixteenth century. It was, however, among the most important in both facilitating the emergence of local consciousness and determining how this consciousness developed moving forward into the seventeenth century.

Such a statement helps situate the Cotswold Games in relation to other popular recreations that had long been a feature of English communal life. These recreations offered a much-needed break from the rigors of the working week and also ‘did much to excite feelings of mutuality and communal identity both among particular peer groups . . ’139 According to many of the Annalia Dubrensia poets, the Cotswold Games provide the same sort of harmless mirth and social harmony. They depict this local gathering as a site of genuine pastoral innocence where ‘honest Pastime, harmlesse Mirth’ can flourish (8).

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