Literature, Mapping, and the Politics of Space in Early Modern Britain

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This collection analyzes the material practice behind the concept of mapping, a particular cognitive mode of gaining control over the world. Ranging widely across visual and textual artifacts implicated in the culture of mapping, from the literature of Shakespeare, Spenser, Marlowe and Jonson, to representations of body, city, nation and empire, it argues for a thorough reevaluation of the impact of cartography on the shaping of social and political identities in early modern Britain.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"No doubt this volume, which vividly demonstrates the link between the spatial and the social, will encourage more work on the topic, for these essays show interdisciplinary work, a variety of approaches, and a breadth of material to explore...[a] fascinating volume." Sixteenth Century Journal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521803779
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2009
  • Pages: 292
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Gordon is a Research Fellow in the School of Humanities at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is the author of a study guide for Thomas More's Utopia, as well as several articles on aspects of Renaissance culture.

Bernhard Klein is Lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Dortmund in Germany. He is the author of Maps and the Writing of Space in Early Modern England and Ireland (2000), and of several essays, reviews and book chapters on Renaissance culture and on contemporary Irish literature.

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations; Preface; Notes on contributors; Introduction Andrew Gordon and Bernhard Klein; Part I. Contested Spaces: 1. Absorption and representation: mapping England in the early modern House of Commons Oliver Arnold; 2. A map of Greater Cambria Philip Schwyzer; 3. Britannia rules the waves?: images of Empire in Elizabethan England Lesley B. Cormack; 4. Performing London: the map and the city in ceremony Andrew Gordon; 5. Visible bodies: cartography and anatomy Caterina Albano; Part II. Literature and Landscape: 6. The scene of cartography in King Lear John Gillies; 7. Unlawful presences: the politics of military space and the problem of women in Tamburlaine Nina Taunton; 8. Marginal waters: Pericles and the idea of jurisdiction Bradin Cormack; 9. 'On the famous voyage': Ben Jonson and civic space Andrew McRae; 10. Imaginary journeys: Spenser, Drayton, and the poetics of national space Bernhard Klein; 11. Do real knights need maps? Charting moral, geographical and representational uncertainty in Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene Joanne Woolway Grenfell; Epilogue: 12. The folly of maps and modernity Richard Helgerson; Select bibliography.

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