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‘In The Time Of The Late Civil Wars’: Post-Restoration Browne And The Political Memory Of Repertorium

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Chapter Summary

Thomas Browne?s Repertorium, his record of the monuments of Norwich Cathedral, is a work that has received only passing interest, its functional antiquarianism being seen as, at best, a poor relation of Urne-Buriall (Hydriotaphia). More important still in the production of Repertorium, and in the politically inflected reading of the work which the author gives in this chapter, is Browne's engagement with and knowledge of local politics. However, viewed in relation to contemporary political events, Repertorium becomes more than mere orientation to the aisles and naves of Norwich, and the chapter considers aspects of the contextual settings in which Repertorium has political resonance: the politics of antiquarianism, the nature of iconoclasm, and the description of pre-Civil War sermon culture, when Browne's perambulation takes us outside the building and into the precincts of the cathedral.

Keywords: Norwich politics; pre-civil war; Repertorium; Thomas Browne



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