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Women and Geography on the Early Modern English Stage
by Katja Pilhuj
Amsterdam University Press, 2019
eISBN: 978-90-485-4422-6

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK
In a late 1590s atlas proof from cartographer John Speed, Queen Elizabeth appears, crowned and brandishing a ruler as the map's scale-of-miles. Not just a map key, the queen™'s depiction here presents her as a powerful arbiter of measurement in her kingdom. For Speed, the queen was a formidable female presence, authoritative, ready to measure any place or person. The atlas, finished during James' reign, later omitted her picture. But this disappearance did not mean Elizabeth vanished entirely; her image and her connection to geography appear in multiple plays and maps. Elizabeth becomes, like the ruler she holds, an instrument applied and adapted. *Women and Geography on the Early Modern English Stage* explores the ways in which mapmakers, playwrights, and audiences in early modern England could, following their queen™'s example, use the ideas of geography, or 'world-writing', to reshape the symbolic import of the female body and territory to create new identities. The book demonstrates how early modern mapmakers and dramatists -- men and women -- conceived of and constructed identities within a discourse of fluid ideas about space and gender.

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