Amazons, Savages, and Machiavels: Travel and Colonial Writing in English, 1550-1630: An Anthology
Here is a broad-based and accessible anthology of travel and colonial writing in the English Renaissance, selected to represent the world-picture of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century readers in England. It includes not just the narratives of discovery of the New World but also accounts of cultures already well known through trade links, such as Turkey and the Moluccan islands, and of places that featured just as significantly in the early modern English imagination: from Ireland to Russia and the Far East, from Calais to India and Africa, from France and Italy to the West Indies. The writings reveal painstaking attempts to understand the 'other' as well as ignorance and prejudice, surprising connections alongside phobic reactions to difference, the desire to co-operate alongside the desire to extinguish and exploit. The extracts are grouped geographically and prefaced by helpful headnotes, which supply essential information and alert readers to areas of debate. The editor provides a substantial introduction, as well as a chronology and full bibliography and seventeen original illustrations. This anthology provides a survey of what the average Renaissance reader could have found in contemporary books, and will be essential reading for anyone interested in how English men and women interacted with other cultures and countries.
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