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Myth, reality and revelation: tracing a biography of early-modern heritage on Dartmoor

Activity: Talk or presentation typesLecture and oral contribution

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David Charles Harvey - Lecturer

This paper explores the biography of an early-modern heritage narrative connected to a violent storm, in which several people died, that occurred on 21st October 1638 on Dartmoor (SW England). The paper examines the nexus between accounts that emerged over the following months and years of ‘ball lightning’ and associated revelations both of God’s vengeance and the Devil’s trickery. The paper examines how situated heritage narratives of the event acted as a lesson for personal religious conduct, heralded a hesitant early scientific investigation, acted as a marque of elite taste, and eventually became blended with folkloric storytelling to explain an unusual archaeological feature in the landscape. Tracing a biographical life history of how the storm of 1638 was narrated and memorialised, therefore, the paper charts how an early-modern heritage of landscape and place can unfold over several centuries.
5 Dec 20227 Dec 2022

Event (Conference)

TitleThe Longue Durée of Cultural Heritage: Curation of the Past from Antiquity to the Present Day
LocationNorwegian Institute in Rome
Degree of recognitionInternational event

ID: 284362885