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Title: Poetical Geography: The Place of Greece in British Poetics, 1715–1812
Authors: Kraege, Lisa Anne
Advisors: Stewart, Susan
Gee, Sophie
Contributors: English Department
Keywords: geography
Subjects: English literature
Classical studies
Art history
Issue Date: 2024
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: Poetical Geography: The Place of Greece in British Poetics, 1715–1812 revisits the story of eighteenth-century British Hellenism, so often focused on texts alone, by restoring the importance of real Greek place. The problem of how to represent place was shared between poets, antiquarians, and architects, who all sought to accurately map and depict the places of Greek poetry through contemporary landscape. Over the course of three case studies, I draw together the British tradition of topographical poetry and landscape painting with Eastern Mediterranean travel accounts and architectural folios. I argue that eighteenth-century representations of Greek place, so focused on realistic and accurate descriptions of place, can be understood as counter-classicizing or idealizing. Each chapter is anchored around a key figure and their respective ways of seeing Greek place: from above, in Alexander Pope’s prospect landscapes and maps in the Iliad; from the ground, in antiquarian Robert Wood’s Essay on the Original Genius of Homer and the mid–eighteenth-century folios of the Society of Dilettanti; and from below, in Lord Byron’s elegiac constructions of buried bodies and temples in Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage. Using Wood’s term “poetical geography” to define the attempt to place or map the poem, I show how for eighteenth-century Hellenists, aesthetics began with historical geography and a sense of place as local, material, and non-transferable.
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:English

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