From the archives : Drayton's Poly-Olbion, 1613-1622

Bate, David G.. 2018 From the archives : Drayton's Poly-Olbion, 1613-1622. Mercian Geologist, 19 (3). 128-129.

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The library of the British Geological Survey has been in existence since at least 1842, the year in which the Survey’s first Director, Henry Thomas De la Beche, first recorded the purchase of ‘books for the Library of the Museum’. The Library today holds many rare old volumes pertaining to geology, mineralogy and fossils, mining, agriculture and topography. In this last category falls a curious work by the poet Michael Drayton (1563–1631), entitled: Poly-Olbion, or, a chorographicall description of tracts, rivers, mountaines, forests, and other parts of this renowned Isle of Great Britaine, with intermixture of the most remarquable stories, antiquities, wonders, rarityes, pleasures, and commodities of the same: digested in a poem. The work is an expansive poetic journey through the landscape, history, traditions and customs of early modern England and Wales. Drayton’s 15,000-line poem, which navigates the nation by way of its principal rivers, is embellished by William Hole’s thirty whimsical engraved maps. The map extract reproduced and discussed here accompanies the ‘sixe and twentieth Song’, which occurs in part two (1622), and concerns itself in part with the Peak District of Derbyshire within the drainage area of the River Derwent and its tributaries. The text here is a slightly modified version (avoiding editorial expediency) of that which appears in Mercian Geologist, volume 19, part 3, October 2018, pp 128–129.

Item Type: Publication - Article
ISSN: 0025-990X
Date made live: 05 Dec 2018 14:48 +0 (UTC)

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