Travel Narratives, the New Science, and Literary Discourse, 1569-1750
The focus of this volume is the intersection and the cross-fertilization between the travel narrative, literary discourse, and the New Philosophy in the early modern to early eighteenth-century historical periods. Contributors examine how, in an historical era which realized an emphasis on nation and during a time when exploration was laying the foundation for empire, science and the literary discourse of the travel narrative become intrinsically linked. Together, the essays in this collection point out the way in which travel narratives reflect the anxiety from changes brought about through the discoveries of the 'new knowledge' and the way this knowledge in turn provided a new and more complex understanding of the expanding world in which the writers lived. The worlds in this text are many (for no 'world' is monomial), from the antipodes to the New World, from the heavens to the seas, and from fictional worlds to the world which contains and/or constructs one's nation and empire. All of these essays demonstrate the manner in which the New Philosophy dramatically changed literary discourse.
'... the collection brings together generally solid and useful essays, as well as a comprehensive bibliography that will be of interest to historians of science and early modern literary historians, especially those working with English archives. In their sum, they serve as a useful reminder to scholars of the impossibility of thinking about science and literature in discrete terms during the early modern period. As such, the volume accomplishes its central goal, which is to illuminate the interconnections and cross-fertilizations of literary and scientific discourses from the mid-sixteenth century to the mid-eighteenth.' Huntington Library Quarterly '... the essays in the volume offer a fascinating balance between literature which focuses on England, that which focuses on ’the world’, and that which focuses on imaginary places. All of which will be of interest to both literary scholars and historians of science. ...The number of productive interconnections between the volume and cultural history of science, historical epistemology, and the history of visual and material culture is, to my mind, indicative of the strength of the research topic, which should continue to attract a wide variety of attention from literary scholars and historians alike.' British Society for Literature and Science 'It is a good sign of synergy in a collective volume when its papers present similar issues for consideration ... With so many points of resonance among the authors, the synthetic introduction by Judy Hayden must have been made much easier and is, indeed, a job neatly done.' Endeavour