British Travellers and the Encounter with Britain, 1450-1700 by John Cramsie

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Author
John Cramsie
Publisher
Boydell Press
Date of release
Pages
564
ISBN
9781783270538
Binding
Hardcover
Illustrations
Format
PDF, EPUB, MOBI, TXT, DOC
Rating
5
77

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British Travellers and the Encounter with Britain, 1450-1700

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Book review

This book recovers the encounter with a 'multicultural' Britain by British travellers in the Tudor and Stuart periods. When William Camden, writing in the sixteenth century, set out to write the history of Britannia, he deliberately took to the roads to discover it first-hand, and those diverse cultures guided and informed his journeys. Here, John Cramsie offers original perspectives on Camden's multicultural Britain through the study of British travellersand their narratives. We meet characters such as the Tudor traveller John Leland, who intended to tell the peoples of England and Wales about themselves; chronicle how they came to settle the towns, villages, valleys, and mountaintops they called home; record the marks they left in the landscape; and celebrate the noble histories and cultures they created. Dozens - eventually hundreds - of Britons shared the same passion to meet their island neighbours and relate their experiences. The individuals studied in this book include actual as well as armchair travellers and those who blurred the boundaries between them. Their letters, diaries, journals, and histories range from the epic,poignant, and matter of fact to the exotic, preposterous, and hateful; the sources include actual and imaginative narratives and those which combined both elements. Travellers painted Britain with, in Leland's words, native colours that were rich, vibrant, and, above all, complex. Their remarkable journeys are the story of how Britons over two centuries met, interacted, and attempted (or not) to understand one another. Written with an eye to debates aboutimmigration and ethnicity in today's Britain, the book emphasizes the long history of making and remaking the island's cultural mosaic. The encounter with Britain's native colours has been a burden of history and opportunity formillennia, not simply for our own times.


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