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Bertram, Charles (1723-1765) [to an unknown recipient regarding the forgery "Richard"]

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC01450.449 Author/Creator: Bertram, Charles (1723-1765) Place Written: Copenhagen, Denmark Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 3 July 1751 Pagination: 4 p. ; 30.7 x 20.5 cm.

Summary of Content: Bertram, later discovered to be a literary imposter, writes to an unknown recipient (possibly to William Stukeley). Reports that when he receives the recipient's reply, he will deliver "Richard," a historical manuscript which he claimed to have found, to the press. Contains various questions related to British history and geography. Discusses the possibilities of the origin of "Richard's" author. Offers condolence regarding the death of the Prince of Wales. On page one, includes a watercolor of a prehistoric celtic dolmen; Bertram states that he saw this kistvaen on the road toward Holt, Britain. States "Upon your complaining of the virtuousness of your Copy of Richard, I have examined that, from which it was taken, with the Original, and find it as you say. but as to the Figures of the Itinerary or Chronology they were pretty exact, tho' wrong in Respect of Truth."

Background Information: Stukeley, a British antiquarian, studied Stonehenge, Avebury, and Druidism extensively. He believed Bertram's claims regarding the monk Richard, and deduced that Bertram's Richard, supposedly of Westminster, was actually Richard of ...Cirencester. Stukeley's support lent Bertram's forgery credibility, and the work was accepted as a correction and supplement to the Itinerary of Antoninus in Britain until the mid-nineteenth century. See More

People: Bertram, Charles, 1723-1765
Stukeley, William, 1687-1765

Historical Era: Colonization and Settlement, 1585-1763

Subjects: Forgery and FraudLiterature and Language ArtsGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyDeathClassical World and Ancient CivilizationArt, Music, Theater, and Film

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