Early Modern Voyages of Discovery and Travel Writing

(2576 words)
  • Jonathan P. A. Sell

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume 12: Global Voices, Global Histories: World Literatures and Cultures.

Much like the raggle-taggle crew of writers who produced them, the works loosely referred to as early modern travel writing in English are a heterogeneous body of texts which resist formal, generic or modal definition. Between the years 1500-1650, mariners and merchants, adventurers and ambassadors, gentlemen rakes down on their luck, Puritans seeking the promised land, aristocrats seeking fool’s gold, paid hacks, penniless humanists, disgruntled settlers, tavern bores and oddballs with itchy feet produced logs, reports, narratives, letters, advertising puff, classical odes, autobiographical potboilers, directions for travellers, anti-travel polemic, instructions for colonists, guidebooks, sermons and plays, all of which are in …

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Sell, Jonathan P. A.. "Early Modern Voyages of Discovery and Travel Writing". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 July 2008
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=5530, accessed 04 October 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. Comparative Literature, Reception, Influences
  2. Exploration, Explorers, Pioneers