Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Antiente Epitaphes

Thomas F. Ravenshaw - Antiente Epitaphes, from A.D 1250 to A.D. 1800 (1878) direct link
Open Library main page

This collection of epitaphs is mainly being posted as an example of antiquarianism with its parish priest (well, actually a rector) collecting material of real but slight value and then presenting it in an outdated style.  The spelling in the title gives that away (a contemporary review called that "a mere conceit, meaningless if not absurd') and throughout he uses the long S long after it had otherwise disappeared.  The various entries are even done in different typefaces which makes some of the earlier ones hard to read.  The only flaw as far as antiquarianism goes is that the author didn't collect all these himself (the review floats the idea that some might not be genuine).

Thomas FitzArthur Ravenshaw (1829-1882) was a rector in Pewsey, Wiltshire, west of London.  He wrote a few other religious works such as The Ferial Psalter as well as on local botany (though one source says his "knowledge of British plants was general rather than critical").