Constructing a Narrative of Time and Place: Anne Clifford's Great Books of Record

Jessica L. Malay

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Anne Clifford's Great Books of Record provides a compelling portrait of social change between the years 1088 to 1734. The bases for the Great Books were the documents secured by Clifford's mother, Margaret Russell Countess of Cumberland, during her legal battles to secure George Clifford's estates for Anne Clifford. Additional documents were collected by Anne Clifford during her widowhood through her association with a wide circle of seventeenth-century antiquarians and lawyers, access to the Clifford muniments at Skipton, and her own research. Upon this scaffolding of transcribed documents, covering over 600 years of Veteripont and Clifford engagement in Britain and beyond, Anne Clifford created a narrative of Clifford dynastic power. At the same time she left a portrait of social interactions and cultural change through several centuries. She made use of annotated indexing, headings, chronological ordering, illustrations, and narrative summaries to transform her extensive collection of material into a creative and accessible work that informed antiquarian scholarship for centuries and can contribute to a greater understanding today of English life and culture over six centuries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)859-875
Number of pages17
JournalThe Review of English Studies
Issue number277
Early online date14 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015


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