Censorship and the Limits of Bibliography and Collecting: The Case of Richard Hakluyt and the Earl of Essex


Censorship and the Limits of Bibliography and Collecting: The Case of Richard Hakluyt and the Earl of Essex
Anthony Payne has worked as an auctioneer at Christie’s South Kensington and for many years was a Director of Bernard Quaritch Ltd. He is now an independent antiquarian bookseller and an Honorary Research Associate at University College London. He is on the Council of the Friends of the British Library, a Vice President of the Hakluyt Society, and a Director of Imago Mundi Ltd.  He is working on a major bibliographical study of the travel writer and editor, Richard Hakluyt, and has published articles on Hakluyt and related matters in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, the Oxford Encyclopedia of Maritime History and elsewhere. His Richard Hakluyt: A Guide to His Books and to Those Associated with Him 1580–1625 appeared in 2008, and he has recently contributed a chapter on ‘Hakluyt’s London: Discovery and Overseas Trade’ to Richard Hakluyt and Travel Writing in Early Modern Europe, edited by Daniel Carey and Claire Jowitt (2012).  With Pamela Neville-Sington, he has compiled an interim census of surviving copies of Hakluyt’s Divers Voyages (1582) and Principal Navigations (1589; 1598/9–1600).  He is on the Editorial Board of the forthcoming Oxford University Press edition of Hakluyt’s Principal Navigations.

This seminar discussed the censorship in 1599 of the first volume of the Principal Navigations, which involved the removal of its account of the controversial raid on Cadiz launched by the Earl of Essex in 1596, and sought to explore how the physical evidence provided by surviving copies of the book throws light on this event, how the taste of collectors over succeeding centuries has distorted or destroyed such evidence, and the limitations of bibliography in reconstructing historical events in the absence of other documentation.

The seminar took place on Tuesday 14 January 2014 at Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU. 

The seminars are aimed at a broad audience including book-collectors, book-dealers, historians of all kinds, librarians, indeed at anyone with an interest in collecting any sort of text from the sixth-former to the retired professor. The atmosphere is informal, as are the presentations. The seminars are free and open to the public. There is no need to book and all are very welcome.