1790 - Throsby, John - Antiquities of Nottinghamshire (1)

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Date 1790
Author Throsby, John
Title The Antiquities of Nottinghamshire
Mentions Sherwood Forest; Robin Hood
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Most of what is left of Sherwood Forest.
John Throsby aged 50 / Wikipedia.

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2016-11-19. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2021-01-07.


WE are now arrived at that portion of our history where we must tread (I had almost said classic) magic ground, where beings like fairies danced; where deer sported in groupes [sic] unnumbered, and in limits almost unbounded; where Robin Hood, and his gay followers, performed their many and long renowned exploits; where the noble and ignoble, the king and the robber have, alike, dashed through the thicket and the woodland in pursuit of their nimble game. Here the stout archer with his bow, unmolested, traversed this vast domain, discharging his deadly darts. Here the spreading oak, the ornament of forests, stood for ages a grand monument of embellished nature, a shade and covert for the birds and beasts that inhabited this.—Here the little squirel [sic] above, sprang from spray to spray, exhibiting its playful attitudes, while the wolf below, in days or yore, made the woodlands eccho [sic] with its dreadful yells; or darting on its prey satiated its voracious appetite. Time, which works such mighty changes on the face of nature, in the passing of a few centuries, where man takes up his abode, exhibits here a scene extremely different to what it has been.—No more the woodland songsters, whose natal hymns delightfully celebrated each return of the heavenly orb, shall here be heard. All now is divided and subdivided into stumpy fences and right lined hedge rows, intersecting each other; which to him that delights in the grand and majestic scenes of nature, upon a large and varied scale, is cold and meanless [sic]. The stranger, who has sumptuous ides of field embellishments, and has refined his taste by reading and observation, if he expect to meet in this great forest any thing like what there has been, will be miserably disappointed. But no more, population in many instances, and avarice in others, have laid the splendour of nature in the dust: here granduer [sic] and sublimity is prostrate, degraded by culture, and lost, in that point of view, for ever.[1]

Source notes

IRHB's brackets. Italic type, except bracketed, as in printed source.

IRHB comments

Robert Thoroton's Antiquities of Nottinghamshire was first published in 1677. John Throsby in 1790 published a new edition, expanded almost beyond recognition. The above passage occurs only in the 1790 and later editions.




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