Talk, script and print: the making of island books in early modern Venice


  • The author would like to thank this journal's reviewers for their useful comments and suggestions. Research for this article was supported by a British Academy Small Research Grant.


During the early modern period, island books (isolari) were among the major print genres by which the Venetian reading public learned about the Mediterranean and the New World. This article focuses on the intellectual, social and cultural processes through which these books constructed islands as objects of inquiry and created textual and visual knowledge about the Aegean archipelago and the Venetian overseas dominions. It shows how diverse communities of practitioners, networks of information and ways of knowing shaped the production of these cultural artefacts, and analyses the connections between images of insularity and notions of empire in Venetian metropolitan culture.