Utopian Geographies and the Early English Novel

Overview

(Penguin, 2016) by J. H. Pearl

Historians have studied the Enlightenment’s substantial advances in world cartography, as well as the decline of utopia imagined in geographic terms. Literary critics, meanwhile, have assessed the emerging novel’s realism and in particular the genre’s awareness of the wider world beyond Europe. Jason Pearl unites these lines of inquiry in this fascinating book, arguing that prose fiction from 1660 to 1740 helped demystify blank spaces on the map and make utopia available anywhere. This literature incorporated, debunked, and reformulated utopian conceptions of geography.

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