Premodern Places: Calais to Surinam, Chaucer to Aphra Behn

Premodern Places: Calais to Surinam, Chaucer to Aphra Behn

Author(s): David Wallace

Published Online: 25 FEB 2008

Print ISBN: 9781405113939

Online ISBN: 9780470776346

DOI: 10.1002/9780470776346

About this Book

This book recovers places appearing in the mental mapping of medieval and Renaissance writers, from Chaucer to Aphra Behn.


  • A highly original work, which recovers the places that figure powerfully in premodern imagining.
  • Recreates places that appear in the works of Langland, Chaucer, Dante, Petrarch, Spenser, Shakespeare, Aphra Behn, and many others.
  • Begins with Calais - peopled by the English from 1347 to 1558 and ends with Surinam - traded for Manhattan by the English 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 English merchant learning love songs in Calais.
  • Provides insights into major historical narratives, such as race and slavery in Renaissance Europe.
  • Crosses the traditional divide between the medieval and Renaissance periods.

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