The Elizabethan adventurers Thomas Eliot, Sir Walter Ralegh and Edmund Spenser travelled overseas to meet cultures different from themselves. The acknowledgement of these cultures that are ‘other’ to the dominant Elizabethan civilization are what John Gillies terms the exotic, wondrous, strange and barbaric (Gillies 25). However, I am arguing that the Elizabethan notion of individuality is challenged, because they identify an exotic or a more pleasing variation of themselves in the people they label as their inferiors.
These exotic identities are illustrated by Hariot Continue reading »
This month’s featured image is a segment from Gerard Mercator’s 1587 world map. It is a minimised version of Mercator’s 1569 cartographic masterpiece that allowed mariner’s to plot their voyages in a straight line. However, Mercator’s son, Rumold, reduced the map to the double hemispherical form so that it could adorn wealthy merchants’ walls.
Condensing the world to a viewable size preoccupied the English Renaissance. In 1570, Abraham Ortelius created the first Continue reading »