William Camden - Civil Historian or Gloriana's Propagandist?

To many people the name William Camden means little more than that of the author of the Britannia, an antiquarian and topographical treatise of the sixteenth century, more honourably mentioned than read, and its author's tablet in Westminster Abbey of simply passing tourist curiosity. In our own age, so acutely conscious of anniversaries, the fourth centenary of Camden's influential publication passed, however, with little notice in 1986. In this year of national commemorations on Elizabeth I's Armada victory Camden's other and more influential work, the Annales, or to give it its full and original title, Annales rerum Anglicarum et Hibernicarum regnante EIizabetha, itself deserves notice and commemoration; for it is after all the 'Camden version' which predominated Elizabeth historiography during the last century.

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