Past and Present Publications: Travel and Ethnology in the Renaissance: South India through European Eyes, 1250-1625 (Hardback)
  • Past and Present Publications: Travel and Ethnology in the Renaissance: South India through European Eyes, 1250-1625 (Hardback)
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Past and Present Publications: Travel and Ethnology in the Renaissance: South India through European Eyes, 1250-1625 (Hardback)

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£93.00
Hardback 470 Pages / Published: 21/12/2000
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This book, first published in 2000, offers a wide-ranging and ambitious analysis of how European travellers in India developed their perceptions of ethnic, political and religious diversity over three hundred years. It analyses the growth of novel historical and philosophical concerns, from the early and rare examples of medieval travellers such as Marco Polo, through to the more sophisticated narratives of seventeenth-century observers - religious writers such as Jesuit missionaries, or independent antiquarians such as Pietro della Valle. The book's approach combines the detailed contextual analysis of individual narratives with an original long-term interpretation of the role of cross-cultural encounters in the European Renaissance. An extremely wide range of European sources is discussed, including the often neglected but extremely important Iberian and Italian sources. However, the book also discusses a number of non-European sources, Muslim and Hindu, thereby challenging simplistic interpretations of western 'orientalism'.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521770552
Number of pages: 470
Weight: 860 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 30 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'A startling new study of the transforming effects of Indian travel on European culture.' Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, The Independent Weekend Review (Book of the Year)
'... [an] impressively erudite, well researched, and eloquently written book'. Peter Burke, University of Cambridge
'... a work of great erudition and high quality. It is impressive both in the range and closeness of its reading of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century European accounts of south India, and in the analytical power with which they are discussed. This really does seem to me an important and original contribution to our understanding of the development of European perceptions of the non-European world.' Sir John Elliott, University of Oxford
'... an accomplishment of stunning intellectual and scholarly proportions. It is unique in its effective conceptualisation of a vast cultural terrain, its breathtaking comprehensiveness, and the sensitivity with which the author reads texts ... The range of materials studied, most unknown to the ordinary, intelligent reader, alone makes the work something that will long command the field.' John M. Headley, The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
'... brilliant' Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, The Times Literary Supplement
'Rubies's book is an erudite, engaging and lucid account of travel writing in the Renaissance, particularly with regard to South India. Its lightly worn scholarship allows the reader to engage with the sheer diversity of individual representation.' Dilip Menon, The Hindu
'A richly textures book of great scholarship, which breaks down the walls separating 'Indian' and 'European' history.' The Book Review
'... an intelligent guidebook for anyone who has cause to refer to Renaissance travel writing ... it is hoped that it will receive a much larger readership than that.' Journal of Ecclesiastical History
'... it will rekindle an interest in some of the most exciting and interesting examples of early European writing.' Journal of Imperial & Commonwealth History
'... deep and thought-provoking ...' E-Journal of Portuguese History
"Travel and Ethnology in the Renaissance is a work of exceptional importance and far-reaching implications. It should be mandatory reading not only for scholars of comparative religion, but also for anyone interested in the dynamics of cross-cultural encounter, the historical analysis of travel literature, the historiography of medieval South India and Vijayanagara, or the intellectual history of Renaissance Europe--a broad audience indeed." History of Religions
"...an accomplishment of stunning intellectual and scholarly proportions. It is unique in its effective conceptualization of a vast cultural terrain, its breathtaking comprehensiveness, and the sensitivity with which the ordinary, intelligent reader, alone makes the work something that will long command the field." John M. Headly, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
"...this book will be of interest to students of the origins of ethnography and anthropology. Cambridge University Press and the author deserve praise for producing a book with proper bottom-of-the-page footnotes, a full bibliography, and a fine index." Isis
"...an important and intellectually ambitious book. It is a perceptive and innovative contribution to European cultural history on at least three levels. At the most general level it contributes to current debates about the way in which cultural history should be written. At a more specific level, it rewrites the history of travel and of knowledge of 'the other' in late medieval and early modern Europe. Finally it offers a case study in depth of western images of the south Indian kingdom of Vijayanagar." Peter Burke, University of Cambridge
"...a work of great erudition and high quality. It is impressive both in the range and closeness of its reading of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century European accounts of south India, and in the analytical power with which they are discussed. This really does seem to me an important and original contribution to our understanding of the development of European perceptions of the non-European world." Sir John Elliott, University of Oxford
"This is analytical scholarship of the highest order and a model of how literary evidence for cross-cultural encounters should be interpreted." Choice
"a rich and detailed account of political and religious life in medieval South India." Journal of Interdisciplinary History
"brilliant" Times Literary Supplement, Books of the Year
"This is essential reading for Indologists, mission historians, cultural theorists, and those vexed by Orientalism." Religious Studies Review Jan 2002
"An important reference source book...a significant contribution on the subject." Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies

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