The Cartographic Imagination in Early Modern England: Re-writing the World in Marlowe, Spenser, Raleigh and Marvell, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Cartographic Imagination in Early Modern England

Re-writing the World in Marlowe, Spenser, Raleigh and Marvell, 1st Edition

By D.K. Smith


214 pages

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Working from a cultural studies perspective, author D. K. Smith here examines a broad range of medieval and Renaissance maps and literary texts to explore the effects of geography on Tudor-Stuart cultural perceptions. He argues that the literary representation of cartographically-related material from the late fifteenth to the early seventeenth century demonstrates a new strain, not just of geographical understanding, but of cartographic manipulation, which he terms, "the cartographic imagination." Rather than considering the effects of maps themselves on early modern epistemologies, Smith considers the effects of the activity of mapping-the new techniques, the new expectations of accuracy and precision which developed in the sixteenth century-on the ways people thought and wrote. Looking at works by Spenser, Marlowe, Raleigh, and Marvell among other authors, he analyzes how the growing ability to represent physical space accurately brought with it not just a wealth of new maps, but a new array of rhetorical techniques, metaphors, and associations which allowed the manipulation of texts and ideas in ways never before possible.


’…Including good notes and bibliography, this well-written, accessible book will be of most interest to specialists… Recommended.’ Choice ’… an invigorating and worthwhile addition to the ongoing discussion of cartography's influence on Renaissance literature.’ Sixteenth Century Journal '[This book is a] valuable contribution to the current interest in cultural exchange and diversity… Embod[ies] interesting and important material about circumstances in the past and about attitudes pertaining to them.' Notes and Queries

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: the cartographic imagination; 'To passe the see in shortt space': re-mapping the medieval world in the Digby Mary Magdalen; The transformation of seeing: Christopher Saxton and the development of the cartographic imagination; From allegorical space to a geographical world: mapping cultural memory in The Faerie Queen; Conquering geography: Sir Walter Raleigh, Christopher Marlowe, and the cartographic imagination; 'Tis not, what it once was, the world': Andrew Marvell's re-mapping of old and new in Bermudas and Upon Appleton House; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author

D.K. Smith is Assistant Professor of English at Kansas State University, USA.

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