Meanings of the South: from the Mappaemundi to Shakespeare's Othello

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Terra Australis - the southern land - was one of the most widespread concepts in European geography from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, although the notion of a land mass in the southern seas had been prevalent since classical antiquity. Despite this fact, there has been relatively little sustained scholarly work on European concepts of Terra Australis or the intellectual background to European voyages of discovery and exploration to Australia in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Through interdisciplinary scholarly contributions, ranging across history, the visual arts, literature and popular culture, this volume considers the continuities and discontinuities between the imagined space of Terra Australis and its subsequent manifestation. It will shed new light on familiar texts, people and events - such as the Dutch and French explorations of Australia, the Batavia shipwreck and the Baudin expedition - by setting them in unexpected contexts and alongside unfamiliar texts and people. The book will be of interest to, among others, intellectual and cultural historians, literary scholars, historians of cartography, the visual arts, women's and post-colonial studies. [Accessed from publisher's website: http://www.ashgate.com/isbn/9781409426059]


Due to copyright restrictions this Book Chapter is unavailable for download.

European perceptions of Terra Australis may be accessed from the publisher here

European perceptions of Terra Australis may be accessed from the National Library of Australia here

The Author:

Professor Christopher Wortham