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Title: Thoroughly English : county natural history, c.1660-1720
Author: Beck, David
ISNI:       0000 0004 2744 6133
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis focuses upon the county natural history, a genre of writing unique to England in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century which spanned subjects which we might now refer to as genealogy, heraldry, cartography, botany, geology, and mineralogy, among others, while retaining a focus on a single county. It situates the genre firmly as a successor to local antiquarianism and chorography in Tudor and early Stuart England. In focusing on a single genre which spans both historical and natural topics, methodologies of enquiry from several historiographic fields are utilized: particularly heavily drawn upon are historical geography, historical epistemology, as well as cultural histories of both history and religion. The thesis aims to make two specific historiographic contributions. Firstly, it demonstrates the value of integrating cultural histories of natural objects and the landscape with historical epistemology. As well as being an object of philosophical or “scientific” knowledge, nature and the landscape held significant cultural meaning, particularly when located in historical narratives and understood as part of God’s world. This is exposed particularly clearly in chapter four’s discussion of physicotheology’s duality: both biblical and natural study combined to emplace God in the landscape. Secondly the thesis offers a reflection on the meanings of locality, place, and the construction of the landscape utilized in historical geography and the history of science. In this period both the nation and physical landscape were envisaged as constructed from discrete “parts”, counties. This is set in the context of earlier, and better known, ‘nation’ constructions, Camden’s construction of the nation by analogy to the human body around the turn of the seventeenth century, and Defoe’s construction of the nation as a trade network centred upon London in 1724.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DA Great Britain