Pocket Maps and Public Poetry in the English Renaissance

ISBN : 9780198834694

Katarzyna Lecky
304 ページ
138 x 216 mm

Katarzyna Lecky explores how early modern British poets paid by the state adapted inclusive modes of nationhood charted by inexpensive, small-format maps. She explores chapbooks ('cheapbooks') by Edmund Spenser, Samuel Daniel, Ben Jonson, William Davenant, and John Milton alongside the portable cartography circulating in the same retail print industry. Domestic pocket maps were designed for heavy use by a broad readership that included those on the fringes of literacy. The era's de facto laureates all banked their success as writers appealing to this burgeoning market share by drawing the nation as the property of the commonwealth rather than the Crown. This book investigates the accessible world of small-format cartography as it emerges in the texts of the poets raised in the expansive public sphere in which pocket maps flourished. It works at the intersections of space, place, and national identity to reveal the geographical imaginary shaping the flourishing business of cheap print. Its placement of poetic economies within mainstream systems of trade also demonstrates how cartography and poetry worked together to mobilize average consumers as political agents. This everyday form of geographic poiesis was also a strong platform for poets writing for monarchs and magistrates when their visions of the nation ran counter to the interests of the government.


Introduction: Common Space: Poetry and Cartography
Chapter One: Spenser's Miniature Map of Faerie
Chapter Two: Daniel's Imperial Survey
Chapter Three: Jonson's Broken Compasses and Bit Parts
Chapter Four: Davenant's Numerical Nationhood
Chapter Five: Milton's Map of Liberty
Epilogue: Argos Eyes


Katarzyna Lecky's research explores how concepts of social justice articulated in natural philosophy and the new sciences informed Renaissance literature. She has published in Exemplaria, The Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, Philological Quarterly, Reformation, Studies in English Literature, and Spenser Studies, as well as edited collections, and has earned fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies and the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Renaissance Society of America, and the Folger Shakespeare, Huntington, and Newberry Libraries, among others. Her next book project examines botanical models of nativity, natality, and naturalization in seventeenth-century literature and medicine.