Cambridge University Press
The rise of antiquarianism in late Elizabethan/early Jacobean England posed a threat to the common and traditional notion of continuity through time of British institutions and culture, including the transmission of historical texts. This threat was a major preoccupation for the poet Michael Drayton, and his response to it can be examined in his depictions of bards and druids in Poly Olbion. Conservatives in the historiographical debate put forth these ancient British poet/priests as an explanation for how ancient British history could have been transmitted through the centuries. But while Drayton in the Poly Olbion certainly uses bards and druids in a concerted attempt to imagine continuity, he reveals some latent suspicions of the truth - that ancient British culture was irretrievably lost.
Curran, John E. Jr., "The History Never Written: Bards, Druids, and the Problem of Antiquarianism in Poly Olbion" (1998). English Faculty Research and Publications. 521.
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