Monday, February 13, 2006
ANGELS ON THE EDGE OF THE WORLD:
Geography, Literature, and English Community, 1000–1534
by Kathy Lavezzo, University of Iowa
From the Cornell University Press website:
In a view that sweeps from the tenth century to the mid-sixteenth century, Kathy Lavezzo shows how the English people’s concern with their island’s relative isolation on the global map contributed to the emergence of a distinctive English national consciousness in which marginality came to be seen as a virtue. Lavezzo examines the many world maps and textual geographies produced by the English during these years. In a beautifully illustrated book, she argues that the English looked to the globe only to emphasize and, in time, to exalt their own exceptional geographic status.
The author charts this process by examining a series of wondrous maps and canonical texts. Demonstrating how medieval geographic notions conditioned English attitudes toward Rome, clarifying the complicated religious history leading up to Henry the Eighth’s divorce and the Reformation, Angels on the Edge of the World straddles the subjects—and methods—of literature, history, and cultural geography. It will be of special interest to those readers who use cartography as a way to map cultural identities.
In print this June.