Terra Australis - the southern land - was one of the most widespread concepts in European geography from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, although the notion of a land mass in the southern seas had been prevalent since classical antiquity. Despite this fact, there has been relatively little sustained scholarly work on European concepts of Terra Australis or the intellectual background to European voyages of discovery and exploration to Australia in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Through interdisciplinary scholarly contributions, ranging across history, the visual arts, literature and popular culture, this volume considers the continuities and discontinuities between the imagined space of Terra Australis and its subsequent manifestation. It will shed new light on familiar texts, people and events - such as the Dutch and French explorations of Australia, the Batavia shipwreck and the Baudin expedition - by setting them in unexpected contexts and alongside unfamiliar texts and people. The book will be of interest to, among others, intellectual and cultural historians, literary scholars, historians of cartography, the visual arts, women's and post-colonial studies.
Anne M. Scott is editor of the journal Parergon and an honorary research fellow in English and Cultural Studies at The University of Western Australia. Her recent books include Piers Plowman and the Poor (Dublin, 2004) and, with Andrew Lynch, Renaissance Poetry and Drama in Context (Newcastle, 2008). Alfred Hiatt is a Reader in English Literature at Queen Mary, University of London. He is the author of Terra Incognita: Mapping the Antipodes before 1600 (London and Chicago, 2008). Claire McIlroy is a Research Associate for international liaison in the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions based at The University of Western Australia. She is also an honorary research fellow in the School of Social and Cultural Studies at The University of Western Australia, and author of The English prose treatises of Richard Rolle (Woodbridge, 2004). Christopher Wortham is an Emeritus Professor and Senior Honorary Research Fellow in English and Cultural Studies at The University of Western Australia. He is also Professor of Theatre Studies and English Literature at the University of Notre Dame Australia in Fremantle. He has published widely on Renaissance poetry and drama.
'The book is of interest, among others, to cultural historians, historians of science, historians of cartography, the visual arts, and to scholars in the history of slavery and post-colonial studies. The Editors of this Volume have done a fine job by arranging all references into one single bibliography list at the end of the book: as such, the reader has access to one alphabetical list of about 30 pages of sources and references. The book contains more than 50 figures, mostly zonal maps and charts, world maps, and also reproductions of painted landscapes and portraits.' Journal of Astronomical Data 'European Perceptions of ’Terra Australis’ offers a treasure trove of ideas, insights, and further reading to explore, with useful illustrations and a comprehensive bibliography. The essays provide updates on contemporary debates in the field, bring into focus some little-known texts, and provide fresh interdisciplinary insights on a fascinating field.' Parergon ’... collectively, the essays can be understood as chapters in an intricate, non-linear story of, first, the construction of an elaborate fantasy of Terra Australis, and subsequently its replacement by the gradually revealed reality of the lands of the southern hemisphere, in particular Australia.’ Australian Historical Studies