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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume IX. From Steele and Addison to Pope and Swift.

XIII. Scholars and Antiquaries

§ 23. Chamberlayne’s Angliae Notitia and its Sequel

A book which opens with the phrase “England, the better part of the best Island in the World,” could hardly fail to secure popularity; but the extraordinary success of Edward Chamberlayne’s Angliae Notitia was, possibly, due less to this felicitous sentiment than to the practical utility of the work as a convenient handbook to the social and political state of the kingdom. No fewer than nineteen revisions were called for between 1669 and 1702; and, after the author’s death in 1703, it continued in vogue in an enlarged form, as Magnae Britanniae Notitia, under the editorship of his son, John Chamberlayne. Its success provoked the appearance of a piratical rival, by Guy Miege, under the title The New State of England; and this, also, went through several editions.