The Antiquarian Mode: English Literature and the Tropics of Antiquarianism, 1600-1660

Author: ORCID icon
Lemley, Samuel, English - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Fowler, Elizabeth, AS-English-Eng Lit Ops, University of Virginia
Kinney, James, AS-English-Eng Lit Ops, University of Virginia
Rush, Rebecca, AS-English-Eng Lit Ops, University of Virginia
Barbour, Reid, English, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

A seventeenth-century antiquary’s instruments included the five senses and methods of study well known to archaeology, but early modern antiquaries also called on writerly and visual tools, including synecdoche, facsimile, aphorism, description, and etymology. In spite of its literary qualities, however, early modern antiquarianism has failed to attract the attention of literary scholars. While historians of science, scholars in the history of ideas, and cultural historians have all discerned antiquarianism’s innovations in method, few have marked its richly interpenetrative relation to the seventeenth century’s innovations in poetry and prose—few have attended to antiquarianism’s literariness. The Antiquarian Mode: English Literature & The Tropics of Antiquarianism, 1600-1660 offers a corrective, proposing that seventeenth-century antiquarian writing constitutes a discrete mode of literature overdue for restoration and definitive study.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
antiquarianism, early modern, Francis Bacon, William Camden, Thomas Browne, fragment, symptom, synecdoche, facsimile
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