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Title:Language, Land, and Law: Laurence Nowell's Anglo -Saxon Studies in Sixteenth-Century England
Author(s):Brackmann, Rebecca Jane
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Wright, Charles D.
Department / Program:English
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, English
Abstract:This dissertation examines the Elizabethan antiquary Laurence Nowell's Old English lexical glosses, English place-name index, and Old English-Latin legal glossary in his copy of Richard Howlet's Abcedarium Anglico-Latinum and relates each of his projects to national identity formation in Tudor England. Nowell wrote thousands of Old English words, drawn mostly from the Grammar and Glossary of the Anglo-Saxon abbot AElfric, next to the Modern English-Latin entries of the printed dictionary. Nowell's glosses could not have been used to look up Old English words, and show his interest in the relationship of Modern English to Old English. His interleaved place-name index in the Abcedarium, drawn from Anglo-Saxon and medieval Latin histories, participates in the Tudor interest in local history, cartography, and place names. Nowell's maps, among the first modern maps of Britain, show his interest in solidifying English identity against Irish otherness and suggest the reason he focused his Old English research on areas that could support Tudor English identity. Nowell's Old English-Latin legal glossary on the flyleaf of Howlet's dictionary shows his thorough investigation of medieval manuscripts, as it is drawn from a manuscript of the twelfth-century Quadripartitus different from those he had consulted for other projects. Nowell's friend and student, William Lambarde, shared his interest in Old English laws, and Lambarde's influential legal writings from the last two decades of the sixteenth century give Anglo-Saxon law the highest place in defining what is "English." Lambarde's texts carry the influence of the first Anglo-Saxonists into the constitutional debates of the seventeenth century and underscore the importance of medieval studies in early modern identity formation.
Issue Date:2005
Description:360 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2005.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3202065
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2005

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