Mediating Antiquarians in Britain, 1760–1830

Maureen N. Mclane

in This Is Enlightenment

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780226761473
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226761466 | DOI:
Mediating Antiquarians in Britain, 1760–1830

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This chapter presents an account of what antiquarians do to transmit ballads—gathering, citation, forensic editing, authentication, and quarrels over value. It argues that in its preoccupation with mediality and its navigation of both Enlightenment historiography and antiquarian eclecticism, balladeering asks us to complicate our standard accounts of “enlightenment” and “media.” Antiquarian balladeering asks us to take another look at “close reading,” for it was precisely through an agonistic, forensic close reading that antiquarians made their cases, established their authority, and bequeathed to later scholars the literary-historical paradigms, objects, and anthologies within and against which we still move.

Keywords: ballads; balladeering; antiquarians; mediation; oral tradition

Chapter.  7405 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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