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Collecting, communicating, and commemorating: The significance of Thomas Plume's manuscript collection, left to his Library in Maldon, est. 1704

Kemp, Helen (2017) Collecting, communicating, and commemorating: The significance of Thomas Plume's manuscript collection, left to his Library in Maldon, est. 1704. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

This thesis is about networks in seventeenth-century England: the making and re-shaping of networks of people and texts, and the ways in which they evolved and transformed. It focuses on the manuscripts collected by Dr Thomas Plume (1630-1704), vicar of Greenwich and archdeacon of Rochester, who left them with a substantial body of books and pamphlets to the Library he endowed in Maldon. They take the form of notebooks and papers complied by a number of different clergymen, in particular Dr Robert Boreman (d.1675) and Dr Edward Hyde (1607-1659), in addition to Plume. The significance of the research lies in its reconstruction of the intellectual lives of the middle-status loyalist clergy through their handwritten texts. The research intervenes into debates about the nature and status of the manuscript form in an age of print and asks why these texts were left with the Library. The content and material form of these notebooks and papers evidence the reading and writing practices of the middle-status clergy, and the ways they were able to use their positions to influence and persuade on local and national levels. The main sections of the thesis encompass: a critical analysis of the manuscript collection; an examination of why the manuscripts were created and re-used; an appraisal of themes of identity, memorial, and legacy reflected within them; and the relationship between the handwritten items and printed books. This thesis argues that these seemingly-ephemeral texts were in fact the ‘heart’ of Plume’s library collection, representing a network of clergymen whose commitment to each other’s work extended as far as if they had been related by blood. Their working papers symbolised a memorial to their scholarship, saved for posterity under the shadow of destruction and loss during the Civil Wars.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z004 Books. Writing. Paleography
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > History, Department of
Depositing User: Helen Kemp
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2017 16:35
Last Modified: 13 Nov 2017 16:35
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/20651

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