The Literature of Exploration

E. Thomson Shields Jr.

in The Oxford Handbook of Early American Literature

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780195187274
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 The Literature of Exploration

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  • Literature
  • Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)
  • Literary Studies (Fiction, Novelists, and Prose Writers)


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This article deals with the literature of exploration, and records English sailor David Ingram's experiences in the new world. In October 1568, Ingram had volunteered with a hundred others to be left on the largely unexplored Gulf of Mexico somewhere along the coast of the present-day northeastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas. Ingram's deposition, taken thirteen years after his return to England, is one of only three documents from the men left ashore. This article records Ingram's experiences such as, he saw “another strange beast bigger than a bear”. A rare text among exploration literature, Ingram's deposition illustrates the wonderfully complex relationship between the various rhetorical elements. This article also very closely explains the contribution and influences of explorers such as Sir Francis Drake and Richard Haklyut. A detailed analysis of their work ends this article.

Keywords: literature; exploration literature; new world; David Ingram; Sir Francis Drake; Richard Haklyut

Article.  11821 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800) ; Literary Studies (Fiction, Novelists, and Prose Writers)

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