Choosing a Text:
We chose Sir Richard Baker's Chronicle of the Kings of England
(1665) due to its early modern authorship, historical subject matter, and the availability of the text in the University of Nebraska at Lincoln's Special Collections. The two chapters of the book were scanned with the UNL Special Collections' permission [call number: SPEC Folio DA30 .B16 1665].
Since Baker's Chronicle
(1665) is over 895 pages, we have narrowed our focus to two chapters. This way, we have been able to dedicate ourselves to more in-depth coding and analysis, that can be then applied if more chapters are added in the future. We selected the chapter on the reign of Henry II and the subsequent chapter on the reign of Richard I. These chapters piqued our interest because of the role women like Eleanor of Aquitaine, wife of Henry II and mother of Richard I, played in the narrative. We hope these chapters will also appeal to an audience of casual readers, since they describe well-known events, such as the murder of Thomas Becket and the Crusades, as well as more obscure events like the Norman conquest of Ireland and Henry II's son Henry the Young King who rebelled against him in 1173. These more obscure events or unclear descriptions in the text have been footnoted with further information.
Interpreting the Text:
We have edited this text with a modern, non-expert audience in mind. We have regularized spelling, person, and place names to make the text more easily readable and searchable. However, we chose not to modernize capitalization, since doing so would alter the original text without a significant increase in readability. We did remove the random italicization of words, as that would be confusing for modern audiences, as we do have foreign languages and quotations italicized, as modern English conventions dictate.
The quire marks
have been XML-encoded, as have the textual divisions by chapter and subsection, which we have used to provide a comparison across the two reigns
This comparison could be extended in the future to cross-edition comparison, because UNL Special Collections has the 1660 and 1679 editions; and the 1670, 1684, and 1732 editions are availble on Archive.org or Google Books (see hyperlinked texts below). We have also encoded the running page header
and page numbers
even though our text does not retain the visual division by page. The woodcut initial capitals
that provided a large capital letter for the start of paragraphs and chapters has been encoded as a droppedCapital. This website provides the printed annotations
that appeared in the 1653 edition and the text that was added after 1643. The printed annotations will appear below each paragraph as blue hyperlinked text with ** mark and a corresponding ** mark showing where the note was originally anchored. The narrative text that was added in 1665 is italicized with an * before it, and it has not been moved out of its original position.
Our footnotes, achieved through TEI XML encoding, are focused on people, groups, and places, with some explanation of events and primary sources mentioned in the text. There are 203 places, 156 persons, 7 organizations, 17 nationalities, and 4 primary sources mentioned within the narrative, but the value and understandability of them comes with modern spelling and regularized naming that allows for searching by modern readers. Once a hyperlinked word is clicked, click the footnote to return, or, press the "back" button in your browser.
Nevertheless, Baker's Chronicle
is clearly rich in geographical and person data, and the value of this data can be better seen if the reader is given basic information (the regularized name, dates of life, importance in history, further reading resources) in a footnote. Through these linked footnotes, the comparative table of the two kings' reigns, and a Google map, we hope the digital medium will enhance a casual, modern reader's experience with the text. Men, women and thier family roles have also been tagged. In addition to that, the texts related to women and their family roles are bolded on the website.
Place names have been tagged with an emphasis on clear geographic locations in order to better create the Google map. For instance, Canterbury is tagged as a city whenever the Archbishop of Canterbury is mentioned, even though Canterbury in that context is an archdiocese, but one that is based in a city that can be clearly pinned on a map. The map points themselves are sometimes an estimated location, and, in the case of aristocratic titles, reflect the geographic location listed in the title and not the entire expanse of that aristocrat's lands. Future work could include placing a historical map onto the Google landscape, to make the borders more clear for modern readers; and drawing border lines to clearly locate the area of land owned by nobles and religious sees.
For more specialized scholars, we have included the original spellings in our XML document (available for download here
) and images of the pages of the original 1653 text. While looking through the tagging, such scholars should note that non-specific role names without personal names attached (e.g. "the king") have not been tagged with PersName.
If you would like to access complete online editions of Baker's Chronicle
, see the following linked texts. However, unlike our edition, these are photo scans of the pages, so they are not readable by the visually impaired, and Early English Books Online does not have a full-text version after the original 1643 edition. This lack of transcribed, digitized texts (or access to the fulltext due to paywalls on databases) means that OCR
software cannot transform the file or website into an audible narrative that visually impaired individuals can hear.
Chronicle of the Kings of England (1665)
Chronicle of the Kings of England (1670)
Chronicle of the Kings of England (1684)
Chronicle of the Kings of England (1732)
The colloquial or idiomatic phrasing found within the narrative has been researched using Oxford English Dictionary online, to find the obsolete and obscure uses of words such as spleen. The OED dates the entries for obsolete meanings, so that you can find the meaning for the era in which you know the word was written, which for our book meant the seventeenth century.