An Empire of Air and Water: Uncolonizable Space in the by Siobhan Carroll PDF

By Siobhan Carroll

ISBN-10: 0812246780

ISBN-13: 9780812246780

Planetary areas comparable to the poles, the oceans, the ambience, and subterranean areas captured the British imperial mind's eye. Intangible, inhospitable, or inaccessible, those clean spaces—what Siobhan Carroll calls "atopias"—existed past the limits of identified and inhabited locations. The eighteenth century conceived of those geographic outliers because the normal limits of imperial enlargement, yet medical and naval advances within the 19th century created new chances to grasp and keep an eye on them. This improvement preoccupied British authors, who have been familiar with seeing atopic areas as otherworldly marvels in fantastical stories. areas that an empire couldn't colonize have been areas that literature could declare, as literary representations of atopias got here to mirror their authors' attitudes towards the expansion of the British Empire in addition to the half they observed literature enjoying in that expansion.

Siobhan Carroll interrogates the position those clean areas performed within the building of British id in the course of an period of unsettling worldwide circulations. analyzing the poetry of Samuel T. Coleridge and George Gordon Byron and the prose of Sophia Lee, Mary Shelley, and Charles Dickens, in addition to newspaper bills and voyage narratives, she lines the methods Romantic and Victorian writers reconceptualized atopias as threatening or, from time to time, weak. those textual explorations of the earth's maximum reaches and mystery depths make clear chronic elements of the British international and environmental mind's eye that linger within the twenty-first century.

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Extra info for An Empire of Air and Water: Uncolonizable Space in the British Imagination, 1750-1850

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Mercator was, as W. A. R. ”60 Believing the continent to have been sighted (a belief that the common wisdom of his day supported), Mercator worked at providing more and more accurate illustrations of a coastline that had never existed in the first place. He also failed to take into account the potential for the publishing process to corrupt his information, and as a result any “elementary error made by a manuscript copyist, a printer or an editor”61 could—and did—shape the outline of his continent.

They suffer them, and they are as helpless to direct their course as they are to relieve their suffering. Whereas Cook’s voyage was a triumph in improved mobility—the H4 chronometer allowed Cook to chart his discoveries more accurately than ever before—Rime depicts an uncontrolled, unfathomable mobility through a polar space that cannot be recalled, let alone charted, with any precision. Coleridge’s depiction of the Ancient Mariner’s journey—a voyage that Bernard Smith has suggested reproduces the course of Cook’s second expedition80—re-infuses Cook’s Antarctic with marvelous potential, introducing into an age of scientific exploration a vision of polar space as fundamentally resistant to empiricist representation.

Rather than giving literary expression to capitalist desires, Peter Wilkins seeks to detangle imaginative and economic forms of speculation, inviting its readers to enjoy the pleasures of imaginary lands without being lured into the risky, and morally suspect, investments associated with the South Sea Bubble. At the end of Peter Wilkins, a new symbolic value has come to be attached to polar space: The polar landscape can contain marvelous works of the imagination, but it also lies safely beyond the corrupting influence of the marketplace.

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An Empire of Air and Water: Uncolonizable Space in the British Imagination, 1750-1850 by Siobhan Carroll


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