Travel and Conflict in the Early Modern World  book cover
1st Edition

Travel and Conflict in the Early Modern World

ISBN 9780367524210
Published November 30, 2020 by Routledge
290 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This edited collection examines the meeting points between travel, mobility, and conflict to uncover the experience of travel – whether real or imagined – in the early modern world. Until relatively recently, both domestic travel and voyages to the wider world remained dangerous undertakings. Physical travel, whether initiated by religious conversion and pilgrimage, diplomacy, trade, war, or the desire to encounter other cultures, inevitably heralded disruption: contact zones witnessed cultural encounters that were not always cordial, despite the knowledge acquisition and financial gain that could be reaped from travel. Vast compendia of travel such as Hakluyt’s Principla Navigations, Voyages and Discoveries, printed from the late sixteenth century, and Prévost's Histoire Générale des Voyages (1746-1759) underscored European exploration as a marker of European progress, and in so doing showed the tensions that can arise as a consequence of interaction with other cultures. In focusing upon language acquisition and translation, travel and religion, travel and politics, and imaginary travel, the essays in this collection tease out the ways in which travel was both obstructed and enriched by conflict.

Table of Contents

Introduction: travel and conflict

Gábor Gelléri and Rachel Willie

Part 1: Language, translation and assimilation

1. Babel as a source of conflict: a case study of two discovery narratives

Marie-Christine Gomez-Géraud

2. Language, mediation, conflict and power in early modern China: the roles of the interpreter in Matteo Ricci’s Journals

Céline Bonnotte-Hoover

3. "Strange accidents": navigating conflict in Sir Thomas Smithes voiage and entertainment in Rushia

Natalya Din-Kariuki

Part 2: Travel, religion and the violence of the road

4. Arming the Alps through art: saints, knights and bandits on the early modern road

Joanne W. Anderson

5. Between hermits and heretics: Maronite religious renewal and the Turk in Catholic travel accounts of Lebanon after the Council of Trent

Robert John Clines

6. The wars in Europe and the journeying play: Thomas Drue’s The Duchess Of Suffolk (1624)

David Nicol

Part 3: War, diplomacy and dissimulation

7. Ambassadors as travellers in Italy in the second half of the fifteenth century

Paul M. Dover

8. Squadrons of inkpots: Pietro Aretino and the narrativity of conflict

William T. Rossiter

9. Avoiding conflict in the early modern Levant: Henry Blount’s adaptations in Ottoman lands

Eva Johanna Holmberg

Part 4: The art of travel and imaginary journeys

10. Ars apodemica gendered: female advice on travel 

Gábor Gelléri

11. Travel, utopia, and conflict: patterns of irony in early modern utopian narratives

Daniel Carey

12. Lunar travel and lunacy: reading conflict in Aphra Behn’s The Emperor of the Moon

Rachel Willie

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Gábor Gelléri is Lecturer in French at Aberystwyth University

Rachel Willie is Reader in Early Modern Literary Studies at Liverpool John Moores University


Travel and Conflict in the Early Modern World is a rich, wide-ranging and genuinely fascinating collection of essays, with contributions from across a range of disciplines. It will become standard reading for anyone interested in travel or travel writing - its modes, challenges, innovations and social and political dimensions - in the global Renaissance.

Jane Grogan, Associate Professor, University College Dublin

Early modern travel was a risky business, exposing those undertaking it to physical and mental dangers. Simultaneously, however, travel provided novel opportunities for complex negotiations and stimulating cultural encounters. The varied and overlapping connections between conflict and travel, real and imagined, and what they meant, are the focus of this thought-provoking collection of essays by leading scholars. Ranging across spaces, genres, modes, and geo-polities, the self-reflexive and creative uses of the conflicts travel engendered amongst those undertaking it provide a fascinating lens to explore early modern power dynamics in a number of dimensions.

Claire Jowitt, Associate Dean and Professor of Renaissance Studies, University of East Anglia

Each individual essay in this collection is impressive in its own right, but taken all together, they constitute a volume that is significantly greater than the sum of its parts. From the perils of travel to the perils that enforced travel, from real to imagined mobility that span real and imagined geo-political spaces, this is an ambitious and extraordinarily varied collection that demands attention from anyone interested in early modern travel, and in travel writing in general.

Nandini Das, Professor of Early Modern Literature and Culture, University of Oxford.