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Description:This fine copper-plate engraved original antique portrait of the famous English 16th century historian William Camden (1551 - 1623) - famous for his historical publication of Britannia first published in 1586 - by Richard White was published in the Edmund Gibson 1695 edition of Britannia
General Definitions:Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stablePaper color : - off whiteAge of map color: - Colors used: - General color appearance: - Paper size: - 13 1/2in x 8 1/2in (350mm x 215mm)Plate size: - 13 1/2in x 8 1/2in (350mm x 215mm)Margins: - Min 1/2in (12mm)
Imperfections:Margins: - Light soilingPlate area: - Light soilingVerso: - Light soiling
Camden, William 1551 – 1623Camden was an English antiquarian, historian, topographer, and herald, best known as author of Britannia, the first chorographical survey of the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, and the Annales, the first detailed historical account of the reign of Elizabeth I of England.In 1577, with the encouragement of Abraham Ortelius, Camden began his great work Britannia, a topographical and historical survey of all of Great Britain and Ireland. His stated intention was to "restore antiquity to Britaine, and Britain to his antiquity". The first edition, written in Latin, was published in 1586. It proved very popular, and ran through five further editions, of 1587, 1590, 1594, 1600 and 1607, each greatly enlarged from its predecessor in both textual content and illustrations. The 1607 edition included for the first time a full set of English county maps, based on the surveys of Christopher Saxton and John Norden, and engraved by William Kip and William Hole (who also engraved the fine title page). The first English language edition, translated by Philemon Holland, appeared in 1610, again with some additional content supplied by Camden. Britannia is a county-by-county description of Great Britain and Ireland. It is a work of chorography: a study that relates landscape, geography, antiquarianism, and history. Rather than write a history, Camden wanted to describe in detail the Great Britain of the present, and to show how the traces of the past could be discerned in the existing landscape. By this method, he produced the first coherent picture of Roman Britain.He continued to collect materials and to revise and expand Britannia throughout his life. He drew on the published and unpublished work of John Leland and William Lambarde, among others, and received the assistance of a large network of correspondents with similar interests. He also travelled throughout Great Britain to view documents, sites, and artefacts for himself: he is known to have visited East Anglia in 1578, Yorkshire and Lancashire in 1582, Devon in 1589, Wales in 1590, Salisbury, Wells and Oxford in 1596, and Carlisle and Hadrian's Wall in 1599. His fieldwork and firsthand research set new standards for the time. He even learned Welsh and Old English for the task: his tutor in Old English was Laurence Nowell.In 1593 Camden became headmaster of Westminster School. He held the post for four years, but left when he was appointed Clarenceux King of Arms. By this time, largely because of the Britannia's reputation, he was a well-known and revered figure, and the appointment was meant to free him from the labour of teaching and to facilitate his research. The College of Arms at that time was not only a centre of genealogical and heraldic study, but also a centre of antiquarian study. The appointment, however, roused the jealousy of Ralph Brooke, York Herald, who, in retaliation, published an attack on Britannia, charging Camden with inaccuracy and plagiarism. Camden successfully defended himself against the charges in subsequent editions of the work.Britannia was recognised as an important work of Renaissance scholarship, not only in England, but across the European "Republic of Letters". Camden considered having the 1586 Britannia printed in the Low Countries, and although that did not happen, the third edition of 1590, in addition to its London printing, was also published the same year in Frankfurt, and reprinted there in 1616. In 1612 parts were condemned by the Spanish Inquisition. An abridgement was published in Amsterdam in 1617 and reprinted in 1639; and versions of the text were also included in Joan Blaeu's Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (published in Amsterdam in 1645) and in Jan Janssonius's Novus Atlas (again published in Amsterdam, in 1646)Camden's Britannia remained a standard and highly regarded authority for many years after his death. A lightly revised edition of Holland's 1610 translation was published in 1637. A new and greatly expanded translation, edited by Edmund Gibson, was published in 1695, and was reissued in revised editions in 1722, 1753 and 1772. Yet another new and expanded translation by Richard Gough was published in 1789, followed by a second edition in 1806. In an address given in 1986, marking the original publication's 400th anniversary, George Boon commented that the work "still fundamentally colours the way in which we, as antiquaries, look at our country"