Shakespeare and the Geography of Difference by John Gillies (University of Essex)
In this engaging book, John Gillies explores Shakespeare's geographic imagination, and discovers an intimate relationship between Renaissance geography and theatre, arising from their shared dependence on the opposing impulses of taboo-laden closure and hubristic expansiveness. Dr Gillies shows that Shakespeare's images of the exotic, the 'barbarous, outlandish or strange', are grounded in concrete historical fact: to be marginalised was not just a matter of social status, but of belonging, quite literally, to the margins of contemporary maps. Through an examination of the icons and emblems of contemporary cartography, Dr Gillies challenges the map-makers' overt intentions, and the attitudes and assumptions that remained below the level of consciousness. His study of map and metaphor raises profound questions about the nature of a map, and of the connections between the semiology of a map and that of the theatre.