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Antiquarianism in the Augustan Age

Thomas Hearne 1678-1735

Theodor Harmsen

This monograph describes the life and work of Thomas Hearne (1678-1735), learned Oxford scholar, diarist, bibliographer, historical antiquary, publisher and editor. Hearne worked at the centre of English intellectual life in the early eighteenth century. A nonjuror and jacobite, he was a colourful and controversial figure who has drawn much comment from scholars of various disciplines up to this day. Hearne is as renowned for his observations of English academic life and manners in the Augustan Age (in 145 diary volumes of ‘Remarks and Collections’) as for his invaluable series of publications of the sources of English medieval and Reformation history. This study creates a full portrait of Hearne based on all the manuscript sources available today, including the diaries, the collection of books and manuscripts and the wide correspondence with eminent men of the time. This appraisal adds to our understanding of Hearne in the context of his time, and shows modern scholarship’s great indebtedness to his scholarly achievements. Antiquarianism in the Augustan Age forms a significant contribution to modern studies of eighteenth-century politics and religion, English history and historiography, and the rich tradition of antiquarianism.
Contents: General Background 1688-1735 – Nonjuror and Diarist – Bookman – Antiquary – Publisher and Editor – Epilogue: ‘In Closet Close Y-pent’ – Hearne’s Published and Unpublished Texts: a Select Bibliography.