Creation, Migration, and Conquest: Imaginary Geography and Sense of Space in Old English Literature explores the Anglo-Saxons' spatial imaginaire; tracing its political, literary, and intellectual backgrounds and analysing how this imaginaire shapes perceptions and representations of geographical space. The book elaborates new interpretative paradigms, drawing on the work of continental scholars and literary critics, and on complementing interdisciplinary scholarship of medieval imaginary spaces and their representations. It gathers evidence from both Old English verse and historico-geographical documents, and focuses on the juncture between traditional scientific learning and the symbolic values attributed to space and orientation. Combining close reading with an original theoretical model, Creation, Migration, and Conquest offers innovative interpretations of celebrated texts and highlights the links between place, identity, and collective identity.
1:Introduction: An Outline of the Anglo-Saxons' Sense of Space
Section I: 'Creation'
2:Ordering the World: Creation Narratives and Spatial Control
3:The Centres of Beowulf: A Complex Spatial Order
4:Localization and Remapping: Creating a New Centrality for Anglo-Saxon England
Section II: 'Migration'
5:Integrating New Spaces: Saints' Lives and Missions of Conversion
6:Searching for Land: Scriptural Poetry and Migration
Section III: 'Conquest'
7:The Descriptiones Britanniae and the Adventus Saxonum: Narrative Strategies for the Conquest of Britain
"This monograph should prove to be a seminal study of the Anglo-Saxon spatial imaginaire"
– Medium Aevum