Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Social Circulation and Historical Culture: A Shakespeare Myth in Sevenoaks

Hails, Charlotte (2014) Social Circulation and Historical Culture: A Shakespeare Myth in Sevenoaks. Master of Arts by Research (MARes) thesis, University of Kent,. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.51183) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:51183)

Language: English

Restricted to Repository staff only
[thumbnail of 24CharlotteHailsThesis2014_PRINT.pdf]
Official URL:


This thesis explores a provincial myth in the context of local historical culture and with reference to what Daniel Woolf has called ‘the social circulation of the past’. The myth identifies Sevenoaks School as a ‘grammar school’ cited by Jack Cade in Shakespeare’s Henry VI Part 2.

The thesis examines the processes by which the myth developed, focussing on elements of the myth and on several central texts: Lambarde’s A Perambulation of Kent; Henry VI Part 2; a handwritten local history; and Jack Cade in Victorian adventure fiction for boys. In discussing the interaction of print and oral culture, the thesis argues for a revised understanding of Lambarde’s work on Sevenoaks and illustrates how some elements of this local historical culture remained unrecorded, outside formal history writing, until the nineteenth century. It also proposes a new understanding of the school’s wider reputation in the early modern period, with reference to previously unexamined evidence of boarding scholars.

The thesis concludes that the myth evolved from the early modern social circulation of the past in print and oral culture, custom, memory and landscape, and that it flourished in the early twentieth century in a historical culture infused with the ‘cult’ of Shakespeare and the rural, romantic nostalgia of ‘Englishness’ expressed in the arts and literature of the time.

Item Type: Thesis (Master of Arts by Research (MARes))
Thesis advisor: Richardson, Catherine
Thesis advisor: Dustagheer, Sarah
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.51183
Additional information: The author of this thesis has requested that it be held under closed access. We are sorry but we will not be able to give you access or pass on any requests for access. 11/03/2022
Uncontrolled keywords: The social circulation of the past. Myth-making in local history. Henry VI Part 2. Shakespeare.
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of English
Depositing User: Users 1 not found.
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2015 09:00 UTC
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2022 13:41 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Hails, Charlotte.

Creator's ORCID:
CReDIT Contributor Roles:
  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.