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Premodern Places

Calais to Surinam, Chaucer to Aphra Behn

David Wallace

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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft


This book recovers places appearing in the mental mapping ofmedieval and Renaissance writers, from Chaucer to Aphra Behn. * * A highly original work, which recovers the places that figurepowerfully in premodern imagining. * Recreates places that appear in the works of Langland, Chaucer,Dante, Petrarch, Spenser, Shakespeare, Aphra Behn, and manyothers. * Begins with Calais - peopled by the English from 1347 to1558 and ends with Surinam - traded for Manhattan by theEnglish in 1667. * Other particular locations discussed include Flanders,Somerset, Genoa, and the Fortunate Islands (Canary Islands). * Includes fascinating anecdotes, such as the story of an Englishmerchant learning love songs in Calais. * Provides insights into major historical narratives, such asrace and slavery in Renaissance Europe. * Crosses the traditional divide between the medieval andRenaissance periods.


Terry Jones
"David Wallace's knowledge of European medievalliterature is unequalled. His book is a cornucopia of illuminatingdetails, insights and connections that are simply not to be foundanywhere else."
JonathanKeates, The Spectator 'Book of the Year' feature,2004
"My Cinderella prize for the year's most underratedbook goes to David Wallace, whose Premodern Placesmixes romance and bizarrerie in a study of medieval and Renaissanceideas about geography and locality."
PeterHulme, University of Essex
"This is one of the sharpest and most imaginative books ofliterary criticism I've read in many years."
Ania Loomba, University ofPennsylvania
"Offering illuminating genealogies for a range of authorsand literary texts, Premodern Places radically questionsmany assumptions about historical as well as geographic boundaries.... this book asks both premodernists and postcolonialists torethink their disciplines and make urgent connections across spaceand time."
José Rabasa,University of California
"... a most brilliant representative of PostcolonialMedieval Studies."



Literature, Literaturtheorie, Literaturwissenschaft, Englische Literatur / Alt- u. Mittelenglisch, Mittelalter, Old, Middle & Medieval English Literature, Literary Theory