Mountain Matter(s): Anticipatory Cartographies in Nineteenth-Century Mountain Literature

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This chapter explores how maps functioned as expressions of an emergent materialist philosophy in nineteenth-century mountain writing. It identifies three forms of mapping: the paper documents carried as navigational tools, the texts produced about upland experiences, and the body. It focuses on four writers’ accounts of their travels through upland landscapes: Dorothy Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Ruskin and Elizabeth Le Blond. These accounts are distinctive in that they highlight how embodied reactions to the landscape can dramatically alter a writer’s imaginative responses. My central claim is that the mountain literatures these authors produced—in a period when the very definition and import of materialism was being significantly re-evaluated—generated a form of anticipatory cartography that understood the reading of an upland landscape as a fundamentally material experience.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnticipatory Materialisms in Literature and Philosophy, 1790-1930
EditorsJo Carruthers, Nour Dakkak, Rebecca Spence
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9783030298173
ISBN (Print)9783030298166
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2020

Publication series

NameAnticipatory Materialisms in Literature and Philosophy, 1790-1930

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