By John Aubrey
John Aubrey's racy graphics of the nice figures of 17th-century England stand along Pepys's diary as a bright evocation of the interval. Aubrey used to be born in 1626, the son of a Wiltshire squire; on the age of 26 he inherited a relatives property laden with debt, and at last went bankrupt within the 1670s. From then on he led a sociable, rootless lifestyles on the homes of neighbors - from Oxford and the center Temple -pursuing the antiquarian experiences which had consistently obsessed him. At his loss of life in 1697 he left a mass of notes and manuscripts, between them the cloth for short Lives. He by no means controlled to place even a unmarried existence into logical order; all we have now are the uncooked fabrics, scribbled down -`tumultuously as they occurredto my thoughts'. With this complete, smooth English version, which reproduces Aubrey's phrases as heavily as attainable, Richard Barber introduces us to Aubrey and his global, tells how the Livescame into being and allows many new readers to take pleasure in this eccentric masterpiece.
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Additional resources for Brief Lives (Modern History)
I guess it to be the handwriting of Sir Daniel Dun, LlD, who married Joan, third daughter of Dr William Aubrey: . . This gentleman in his tender years learned the first grounds of grammar in the college of Brecon, in Brecknock town, and from thence about his age of fourteen years he was sent by his parents to the University of Oxford, where, under the tuition and instruction of one Mr Morgan, a greatly learned man, in a few years he so Page 21 much profited in the humanities and other recommendable knowledge, especially in rhetoric and history, that he was found to be fit for the study of civil law, and thereupon was also elected into the fellowship of All Souls College in Oxford (where the same law has always much flourished).
The next morning, going to the river, which runs by the house (which is by the bridge), with her pail, to take up some water, a good jack came into her pail; which she ate up, all, herself. This is generally received for a truth. His godfather and godmothers sent him to the university, his father not being able. Thomas Allen 15421632 Famous as a mathematician and collector of manuscripts on astronomy and antiquities, Thomas Fuller said of him that he had 'succeeded to the skill and scandal of Friar Bacon'.
Also he tells me, for 200 acres ten pounds per annum rent for ever, after three years. ¶ Now if I would be rich, I could be a prince. I could go into Maryland, which is one of the finest countries of the world; same climate with France; between Virginia and New England. I can have all the favour of my lord Baltimore I could wish. e. the Sun astrologically in the ascendant in his horoscope. Ed. Page 13 lieutenant there; and a very good-natured gentleman. Plenty of all things; there is land 2000 miles westwards.
Brief Lives (Modern History) by John Aubrey