Reference > Cambridge History > Cavalier and Puritan > Historical and Political Writings > Robert Carey’s Memoirs; Sir Robert Naunton’s Fragmata Regalia; John Manningham’s Diary
  Clarendon’s skill in character drawing Sir Kenelm Digby’s Private Memoirs  

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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume VII. Cavalier and Puritan.

IX. Historical and Political Writings.

§ 17. Robert Carey’s Memoirs; Sir Robert Naunton’s Fragmata Regalia; John Manningham’s Diary.


The memoir literature proper of the earlier Stewart period is far too extensive to admit of more than a cursory survey, though one or two works may be singled out as having, by their literary qualities, secured to themselves a wider remembrance. The list may be headed by a well known short production, of which the most interesting portion carries us back into Elizabethan days. The Memoirs of Robert Carey, earl of Monmouth, written by himself, have always enjoyed a certain popularity, if only because of the account they furnish of queen Elizabeth’s last moments and of her successor’s reception of the great news of her death; the writer having been an eye-witness in both cases. He survived into a third reign; but the entire record, though brightly written, would not fill a hundred folio pages. Fragmata Regalia, or Observations on the late Queen Elizabeth, her Times and Favourites, by Sir Robert Naunton, are still more compendious, and were, accordingly, reprinted with Carey’s Memoirs and other works in succession. There is considerable force, and not a little malice, in some of the short characters making up the collection of secretary Naunton, of whom Bacon said that he “forgot nothing.”   37
  From the reign of Elizabeth, though from its very last year, dates, also, the Diary of John Manningham, barrister-at-law of the Inner Temple. Among the eminently miscellaneous entries in this there chances to be one which has a special interest for students of Shakespeare. Whether in this connection or generally, the opening sentence of this celebrated repository of anecdotes and witty sayings, as well as of extracts from sermons,  26  sufficiently illustrates the miscellaneous nature of the writer’s interests, and his unwillingness to narrow their range.   38

Note 26. “A puritan is a curious corrector of things indifferent.” [ back ]

CONTENTS · VOLUME CONTENTS · INDEX OF ALL CHAPTERS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  Clarendon’s skill in character drawing Sir Kenelm Digby’s Private Memoirs  
 
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