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1-penny survey of English history

by on February 16, 2009

 

Bodleian Library Wood 401(121)

Bodleian Library Wood 401(121)

At the Seminar on the history of the book, Giles Bergel told us about the Wandering Jew’s Chronicle, a broadside ballad first published in 1634 and updated in at least 14 subsequent editions up to the 19th century. As these were turbulent times for England and the monarchy, the use of an unbroken portrait gallery of monarchs to illustrate most of the versions suggests a royalist theme, and the “Whiggish”, triumphalist view of English history.

Visual representations of history are a fascinating subject in themselves, and Bergel also showed the first use in print of a stemma, much used by historians of texts, in an 1827 publication, Carl Johan Schlyter’s Corpus iuris Sueo-Gotorum antiqui.

From → Ballads, Ephemera

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