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"Padron is an incisive critic. . . . The Spacious Word focuses a dynamic picture of the ideologies at play in the long and complicated 'invention' of America."
Padrón contends too that maps and geographic writings heavily influenced the Spanish imperial imagination. During the early modern period, the idea of "America" was still something being invented in the minds of Europeans. Maps of the New World, letters from explorers of indigenous civilizations, and poems dramatizing the conquest of distant lands, then, helped Spain to redefine itself both geographically and imaginatively as an Atlantic and even global empire. In turn, such literature had a profound influence on Spanish ideas of nationhood, most significantly its own.
Elegantly conceived and meticulously researched, The Spacious Word will be of enormous interest to historians of Spain, early modern literature, and cartography.
— Andrew Staffell
— Antonio Feros
"[The author] carefully establishes his case that cartography and empire are inseparable, by showing how the work of sixteenth-century Spanish intellectuals in numerous fields contributes to the construction and mapping of 'America' in the Spanish consciousness. . . . A meticulously researched study that makes an intriguing area of inquiry accessible to both generalists and specialists alike. The clarity of his presentation will also facilitate the use of his valuable findings by scholars in numerous fields."—Mark DeStephano, Renaissance Quarterly
— Mark DeStephano
“Abundantly and helpfully illustrated, The Spacious Word skillfully weaves the analysis of images and text to explore the subtle and complex interactions between the different models and concepts of space and . . . the selected texts demonstrate the manner in which imperial ideals, aspirations and realities shaped and were served by different forms and traditions of cartography. . . . The Spacious Word is an insightful and undoubtedly original book, which provides an illuminating new perspective on the development of the Spanish imperial imagination and its associated understandings of space.”
— Caroline E. Dodds
“In this groundbreaking study Ricardo Padrón brings to bear on early modern Hispanic studies the burgeoning field of critical geography. . . . Nuanced, learned, and original, mapping for us an entirely new way of reading the lay of the land.”
— Barbara Fuchs
"An ambitious and accomplished combination of literature, history and geography. Its most successful passages are those where [the author] zeroes in on literary works, demonstrating his sharp and imaginative skills at analysing and interpreting texts and situating them historically."
— Daniela Bleichmar
"As [the author] moves from studying cartographers and their art through conquistadors, historians, and poets, he portrays a rich Renaissance discourse about empire and uses literary, historical, and geographical methods to present a compelling picture of a multilayered society able to draw on literature, history, and geography to assimilate and conquer new lands."
— Grace E. Coolidge
"Padrón meticulously documents the history of European cartography, exploring the intricate web composed by the ostensible relationship between cartography and written discourse."—Horacio Chiong Rivero, Sixteenth-Century Journal
— Horacio Chiong Rivero
"Padrón's interpretation of the rich store of geographical writings left by Spaniards of the early modern period opens new vistas for Latin American historical geography. . . . Here a visitor to the field shows geographers how to expertly interpret sources and raise for readers in all disciplines the level of awareness of the major impact geography has had."
— Jack A. Licate