Since the colloquium last September we’ve been moving on with the compilation of the successions database. A prototype with entries for the first 6 succession years (from James in 1603 to Anne in 1702), based on research using EEBO and ECCO, is now available to browse. Meanwhile we’ve been cataloguing the ‘second cycle’ of succession years (1604, 1626, 1661 etc.) With work now done on 1604 and 1626 (and very nearly complete on 1661), this is the first time that it’s been possible for us to get a sense of what happens to succession writing in the aftermath of a new monarch’s accession. The picture beginning to emerge is one where writers quickly move on from celebrating the succession itself and begin to address some of its specific consequences for the nation.
We collected 74 succession publications on the database for the year 1604 out of 785 records on EEBO. Compared to the 121 publications we recorded for 1603 (out of 807 records on EEBO) there was obviously a drop in the proportion of succession literature being published in 1604. That was probably to be expected. Our original rationale for cataloguing a span of years has, though, been justified by the fact that the database is picking up works written about the Jacobean succession that appear to have been printed late. Continue reading