Abstract and Keywords
The two editions of Holinshed's Chronicles fell short of the ‘universall Cosmographie’ envisioned by the project's original creator, Reyner Wolfe. The scope of the 1577 chronicle did not extend beyond the British Isles, explicitly covering the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and silently incorporating the principality of Wales within its survey of archipelagic history. Although the 1587 edition incorporated massive amounts of fresh detail and commentary, it did nothing to expand the Chronicles' geographical scope. What prevented the completion of Wolfe's universal project was not its sheer impossibility, but the reluctance of the printers to bear the cost of the massive multi-volume work that was emerging. This chapter explores the cultural logic of the Chronicles' spatial coverage, with reference to contemporary and historical ways of imagining the Atlantic Archipelago (or ‘British Isles’) as a geographical entity.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.