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This EnglandEssays on the English Nation and Commonwealth in the Sixteenth Century$
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Patrick Collinson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780719084423

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719084423.001.0001

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William Camden and the anti-myth of Elizabeth: setting the mould?

William Camden and the anti-myth of Elizabeth: setting the mould?

Chapter:
(p.270) Chapter 10 William Camden and the anti-myth of Elizabeth: setting the mould?
Source:
This England
Author(s):

Patrick Collinson

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719084423.003.0011

There is some evidence that William Camden's early ambition was to be a historian, until persuaded by the Dutch scholar Ortelius that the Britannia project should have priority. Camden had an ambivalent attitude to the near-contemporary history which was his next major undertaking, a history of England, Scotland and Ireland, in the reign of Elizabeth I, constructed on the model of the Annals of the Roman historian Tacitus, referred to as the Annales. We are indebted to Camden ample material for both favourable and unfavourable characterisations of Elizabeth. We also owe to him as her first historian and for providing the sense of the absolute centrality to the Elizabethan story of the so long deferred question of Mary Queen of Scots. Camden was certainly not the stuff of which Elizabethan myths of Gloriana were made.

Keywords:   Elizabethan historian, Britannia, Annales, Mary Queen of Scots, Elizabethan myths

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