Angels on the Edge of the World: Geography, Literature, and English Community, 1000-1534 by Kathy LavezzoAngels on the Edge of the World: Geography, Literature, and English Community, 1000-1534 by Kathy Lavezzo

Angels on the Edge of the World: Geography, Literature, and English Community, 1000-1534

byKathy Lavezzo

Paperback | May 4, 2006

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"The various and contradictory signs of English otherworldliness offered medieval writers a remarkably elastic medium with which to construct national identity. . . . Above all, the wonderful aspects of geographic otherness made it possible for English writers to see their homeland as not only barbarously divided but also blessed and united. Even as they acknowledged England as a barbarous wasteland . . . or as a site of brutal disorder . . . , the English also imagined England as a holy wilderness or as a blessed isle."—from the IntroductionIn a view that sweeps from the tenth century to the mid-sixteenth century, Kathy Lavezzo shows how the English people's concern with their island's relative isolation on the global map contributed to the emergence of a distinctive English national consciousness in which marginality came to be seen as a virtue. Lavezzo examines the many world maps and textual geographies produced by the English during these years. In a beautifully illustrated book, she argues that the English looked to the globe only to emphasize and, in time, to exalt their own exceptional geographic status. The author charts this process by examining a series of wondrous maps and canonical texts. Demonstrating how medieval geographic notions conditioned English attitudes toward Rome, clarifying the complicated religious history leading up to Henry the Eighth's divorce and the Reformation, Angels on the Edge of the World straddles the subjects—and methods—of literature, history, and cultural geography. It will be of special interest to those readers who use cartography as a way to map cultural identities.
Kathy Lavezzo is Associate Professor of English at the University of Iowa. She is the author of Angels on the Edge of the World: Geography, Literature, and English Community, 1000–1534 and The Accommodated Jew: English Antisemitism from Bede to Milton, both from Cornell, and editor of Imagining a Medieval English Nation.
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Title:Angels on the Edge of the World: Geography, Literature, and English Community, 1000-1534Format:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 10 × 7 × 0.2 inPublished:May 4, 2006Publisher:CORNELL UNIVERSITY PRESSLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801473098

ISBN - 13:9780801473098

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Editorial Reviews

"Angels on the Edge of the World is an exciting disquisition on the critical importance of geography to English identity in the Middle Ages and early Renaissance. Eloquent on why place matters, and precisely how it matters, this book is indispensable to an understanding of medieval England, and will be hugely influential for all future work of its kind."—Geraldine Heng, Director of Medieval Studies, University of Texas at Austin, and author of Empire of Magic: Medieval Romance and the Politics of Cultural Fantasy