Premodern Places: Calais to Surinam, Chaucer to Aphra Behn
April 2008, Wiley-Blackwell
- 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
- 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.
1. At Calais Gate.
2. In Flaunders.
3. Dante in Somerset.
5. Canaries (The Fortunate Islands).
- A highly and engaging work by one of the world's most renowned
- Recreates and connects the places that appear in the works of
Langland, Chaucer, Dante, Petrarch, Spenser, Shakespeare, Aphra
Behn, and many others.
- Explores the distinctive cultural life of a range of locations,
among them Calais, Flanders, Somerset, Genoa, the Fortunate Islands
(Canary Islands), and Manhattan.
- Featuring fascinating vignettes, 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.
“My Cinderella prize for the year’s most underrated
book goes to David Wallace, whose Premodern Places
mixes romance and bizarrerie in a study of medieval and Renaissance
ideas about geography and locality.” Jonathan
Keates, The Spectator 'Book of the Year' feature,
“This is one of the sharpest and most imaginative books of
literary criticism I've read in many years.” Peter
Hulme, University of Essex
“Offering illuminating genealogies for a range of authors
and literary texts, Premodern Places radically questions
many assumptions about historical as well as geographic boundaries.
… this book asks both premodernists and postcolonialists to
rethink their disciplines and make urgent connections across space
and time.” Ania Loomba, University of
“… a most brilliant representative of Postcolonial Medieval Studies.” José Rabasa, University of California