Title: Remaines, Concerning Britain: but especially...
Publisher: John Legatt for Simon Waterson, London
Publication Date: 1614
Book Condition: Very Good
4to (180 x 130mm). , 181, 190-386pp. Signatures: A(2), B-3B(4), 3C(2). Containing an essay by Richard Carew, "The Excellency of the English Tongue" (pp. 43-44). Later dark green morocco tooled and stamped in gilt, title gilt stamped on spine, "Remaines concerning Britaine Camden 1614" (hinges cracked and boards a bit loose, title with minor repairs, intermittent dampstaining, lacking final blank, lightest edgewear). With donation inscription on front free endpaper, dated 1832, "L.W. Ex dono G. D. Barn(e)t." Camden’s 1614 edition of the ‘Remaines concerning Britain,’ a work of national rediscovery. Camden’s second edition originally published in 1605 as "Remaines of a greater worke, concerning Britaine, the inhabitants thereof, their languages, names, surnames, empreses, wise speeches, poesies, and epitaphes." William Camden is one of the founding fathers of English local history, with Britannia (1586) as his chief claim to fame. He was a well-known English antiquarian, historian, and officer of arms. By virtue of Camden’s work on the history of England, his Remaines needs to be viewed as a work of national rediscovery. In it, Camden famously favors the idea of Saxon origins while retaining interpretations of ancient British civility. He suggests that the civilizing of the ancient Britons and an idea of Saxon ancestry were not always developed as oppositional ideas. On matters of legal continuity from the Saxon age forward, Camden took particular issue. Furthermore, Camden found the origins of French influence are not in conquest but in St. Edward the Confessor’s taste for all things French, "Many approved customs, laws, manners, fashions, and phrases have the English always borrowed of their neighbors the French, especially since the time of Edward the Confessor, who resided long in France, and is charged by some historians of his time, to have returned from thence wholly Frenchified; than by the Norman conquest which immediately ensued." This volume also contains a couple of interesting allusions to Shakespeare. In the part of the work treating surnames, Camden remarks that some are derived from what individuals carried, "as Palmer, that is, Pilgrime, for that they carried Palme when they returned from Hierusalem.Strong-shield, and in some such respect, Breake-speare, Shake-speare." (p. 128). Camden’s enormous contributions in this 17th century work not only records important aspects of English cultural heritage, like common epitaphs, names and speech, but stood the test of time in order to inspire sharp young minds and gain popularity with writers like Jonson. STC 4522. Bookseller Inventory # D8761
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