Cost: Free

Editing Aubrey: The Antiquary and the Material Text

Editing Aubrey: The Antiquary and the Material Text

Lecture by Dr Kate Bennett, FSA

John Aubrey was a 17th-century biographer, traveller, Fellow of the Royal Society, and pioneering antiquary and archaeologist (famous for his discovery of the Megolithic Avebury henge monument in 1649). Aubrey died in 1697, and the Society of Antiquaries of London was not founded until 1707, but Aubrey's legacy was vital to the work of early antiquarian and archaeological members of our own Society (such as William Stukeley and John Britton). 

John Aubrey BookKate Bennett won the British Academy's Rose Mary Crawshay Prize (2017) as editor of John Aubrey: Brief Lives with An Apparatus for the Lives of our English Mathematical Writers (2015). The publication was also a Times Literary Supplement (TLS) Book of the Year. In this lecture, she will discuss the experience and challenges of working with Aubrey's own manuscripts and shows how they are shaped by his pioneering antiquarian work and his sense of manuscripts as artefacts, mementoes, and paper museums which would be worth their 'weight in gold' to future generations.

Dr Bennett is a member of the Faculty of English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford (Magdalen College). She is the leading authority on John Aubrey and is following up her award-winning 2015 publication with a study of literary anecdote, an edition of Aubrey’s Life of Thomas Hobbes, another on his album of prospect drawings of his Wiltshire birthplace, and a scholarly biography which focuses on his polymathic intellectual interests and presents him as a traveller and travel writer.


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