The article focuses on three early-seventeenth-century (English and Scottish) leisure travelers’ accounts of the (alleged) ruins of Homeric Troy, namely those penned by Thomas Coryat, William Lithgow, and George Sandys. It argues that their rumination on the specific remains both shaped and reflected their manifold, fractured, and precarious identities while it also highlighted the complex dialogue taking place in these texts between a ruinous past and a fragmented and malleable present. The essay also examines the three travelers’ broken poetics, interspersed in the aforementioned accounts, and shows that they constitute highly self-aggrandizing narratives through which their authors perform their fragile identities.
Early Seventeenth-Century Travelers to the Ruins of Troy
A Reading of Anna Laeticia Barbauld's 'Washing Day'
In the 1770s, the painter Richard Samuel, a Royal Academy member, painted a group of British female artists and literary figures as the ‘Nine Living Muses of Great Britain’ (Figure 1).
The present essay attempts to shed light on the gender politics of Tobias Smollett's novel The Expedition of Humphry Clinker in relation to its spatial politics, and argues that geographic space functions as a framework within which gender contextualises both urban and rural culture. Drawing primarily on Henri Lefebvre's seminal post-modernist study of space, the paper argues that space is a social production that gives rise to representational effects. Chief among them is gender, and the essay analyses the way Smollett invokes and then subverts the traditional literary and cultural binary between country/femininity and city/masculinity. It thus advances a deconstruction of a familiar binary opposition between geographic and sexual stereotypes. Thus, the ultimate 'traveller' of Smollett's picaresque novel is none other than the reader who is invited to explore his/her identity by analysing Smollett's presentation of the formation of subjectivity through the intersections of space and gender as well as his ambiguous stance towards his contemporary status quo.
Home and Dislocations in Andrew Marvell's 'Upon Appleton House'
This essay analyses Andrew Marvell's 'Upon Appleton House' and demonstrates that the poem registers the ways in which spatial politics, and the representation of home, in particular, underpins as well as enriches its meaning. Borrowing Donna Birdwell-Pheasant's and Denise Lawrence-Zuniga's definition of home and house the essay focuses on Lord Fairfax's house and shows that, notwithstanding the multiplicity of spaces presented in the particular poem, and despite his agonising effort to present Nunappleton as Lord Fairfax's home, Marvell in fact reflects his patron experiencing a strong sense of dislocation while living in Appleton House due to its complex as well as disconcerting religious and familial associations. In other words, beneath the façade of the heroic Protestant man who chose to withdraw from the public arena to the private sphere of Nunappleton, was a man trying to come to terms with his Catholic origins as well as with the fact that the particular estate reminded him of his displacement from the male line of his family as well as his disempowerment by the female sex. Hence, Appleton House, at that precise historical moment, fails to become 'a symbol of self' or 'a manifestation of family identity'; instead it is 'an inn to entertain / Its Lord a while, but not remain' (ll. 71-72).
This article analyses William Shakespeare’s Macbeth in relation to its main spaces – the heath, Macbeth’s three castles, Macduff’s fortress, and the battleground where Macbeth perishes – in order to shed light on the play’s use of spatial politics by outlining the function and significance of the concept of the palimpsest, while concurrently reading the play within a context that conflates Michel de Certeau’s and Henri Lefebvre’s theories of space. It contends that although castles are supposed to be the bedrocks and shelters for the individuals that inhabit them, hence fixed and static, those in the text are ambiguous and changeable while concurrently they refigure and reinscribe one another. Finally, the article will demonstrate that the playwright invites the audience to ponder on the issues of social responsibility and political power by choosing a spatially palimpsestic framework for his play.
Graham Holderness, Vassiliki Markidou, Elizabeth Mazzola, James Walton and James Wilper
Notes on contributors
Glennis Byron, Daniel Cordle, Loraine Fletcher, Paul Innes, Victoria Margree, Vassiliki Markidou and Robin Sims
Notes on contributors
Marilyn Hacker, Graham Holderness, Caroline Lamb, Vassiliki Markidou, Elizabeth Mazzola and Ruth O'Callaghan
Notes on contributors