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This collection examines a wide range of travel texts, dating from the thirteenth to the seventeenth centuries, both to question the divergence between the 'midddle ages' and the 'early modern' and to assess the modes, themes, and ethnologies of travel writing. It demonstrates the enduring nature of the itinerary, the variant forms of witnessing (including imaginary maps), the crafting of sacred space as a cautionary tale, and the use of the travel narrative to represent the transformation of the authorial self. Focusing on European pilgrims and other travelers to the expansive East, from the soft architecture of Timur's tent palaces in Samarqand to the ambiguities of sexual identity at the Mughul court, these essays reveal the possibilities for cultural translation as travelers of varying experience and attitude confront remote and foreign (or not so foreign) space.


19 colour plates and 30 b/w illustrations