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Writing, Geometry and Space in Seventeenth-Century England and America : Circles in the Sand - Jess Edwards

Writing, Geometry and Space in Seventeenth-Century England and America

Circles in the Sand

Hardcover

Published: 16th December 2005
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The early modern map has come to mark the threshold of modernity. In its clean and expansive geometries we perceive the spirit of artists, rulers, merchants and landlords cutting through the layered customs of Medieval parochialism. And if we do not celebrate this cartographic mathematization of experience, then we mourn it as the dawn of a new age of capitalistic, panoptic discipline and imperialist surveillance. This book re-thinks the role played by mathematics and cartography in the English seventeenth century, arguing the currency of mathematics was as unstable in the seventeenth century as England's controversial enclosures and plantations. "Writing, Geometry and Space in Seventeenth-Century England and America" traces the circulation of this unstable currency through literary and scientific texts, finding mathematics figured variously as the sign of man's immortal soul and the scar of his corruption. Jess Edwards suggests that this instability rendered mathematics necessarily rhetorical and subject to constant re-negotiation. Yet rather than seeing this instability as a weakness, Edwards argues that it may have offered power, and that mathematics functioned culturally more like Puritan communion silver than the sword and ploughshare of seventeenth-century reform. Mathematized texts from masques to maps are seen as having negotiated a contemporary ambivalence between Calvinist asceticism and humanist engagement, with their authors having promoted themselves as artful guides between virtue and profit, the study and the marketplace.

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Introduction: Writing, Geometry and Space
Discipline and Polish: The Age of Improvement and its Limits
Humanist Geometries: Circles in the Sand
Discipline Reconsidered: A Perspective to Look Beyond Tradition
Ambivalent Geographies
Points mean Prizes: Self-Fashioning and the Mathematical Career
The Doubtful Traveller: Mapping and the Middle Man
Notes
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780415323413
ISBN-10: 041532341X
Series: Routledge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 166
Published: 16th December 2005
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.24  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.39
Edition Number: 1