‘’Tis not, what once it was, the world’: Andrew Marvell's Re-Mapping of Old and New in Bermudas and Upon Appleton House

Smith, D. K.
October 2006
Seventeenth Century;Autumn2006, Vol. 21 Issue 2, p214
Academic Journal
The cartographic discourse of certainty and precision that became so ingrained in England in the sixteenth century becomes a new means of negotiating the stress and political upheaval of the seventeenth. The certainty and imaginative control of the physical world embodied in the early modern cartographic imagination appears in stark contrast to the political and social instability of the English Revolution, when even the most solid and fixed aspect of England – the enduring nature of kingship, itself – is disrupted. In Marvell's hands the discourse of cartographic precision provides one of the most unexpected and interesting contexts for coming to grips with this period. At the same time, Marvell marks the final stage in the early modern development of the cartographic imagination: defamiliarizing cartographic accuracy, turning it back on itself as a means of highlighting, not precision and control, but a widespread anxiety about political unraveling.


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