Article

Pilgrimages, Travel Writing, and the Medieval Exotic

Jeffrey Jerome Cohen

in The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Literature in English

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199229123
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199229123.013.0032

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 Pilgrimages, Travel Writing, and the Medieval Exotic

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This article examines pilgrimage and travel writing in England during the medieval period. It explains that during this period, The Book of John Mandeville was the best-seller and possibly the most popular travel narrative ever composed. However, the book is not the record of a historical traveller's sojourn, but a compendium of cultural details, pious histories, marvels, and exotica culled from an array of sources. This article describes how the work transformed itself from a typical account of Holy Land pilgrimage based upon William of Boldensele's Liber de quisbusdam ultramarines partibus and how populate its worlds with bodies in motion.

Keywords: travel writing; pilgrimage; England; medieval period; The Book of John Mandeville; travel narrative; William of Boldensele; Liber de quisbusdam ultramarines partibus

Article.  8985 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)

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