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From Hackwork To Classic: The English Editing Of The Geographia Generalis

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Chapter Summary

Bernhard Varenius' Geographia Generalis has been accorded an extraordinary status in the history of geographical thought. This chapter suggests that this canonization of Varenius begins in the eighteenth century and that it can be discerned by looking at the ways in which the text was edited in England. The two major English translations of the Geographia Generalis, that by Richard Blome and that by Dugdale and Shaw reinforce the impression which the Latin editions yield of a work of some but by no means exceptional popularity. The chapter shows how Varenius was edited varied enormously in the course of time and resulted in very different positionings of his work on a spectrum between hackwork, as in the case of Blome's Cosmography and Geography, and the classics, as in the case of Dugdale and Shaw's Compleat System.

Keywords:canonization; Dugdale-Shaw editions; English editing; Geographia Generalis; hackwork; Latin edition; Richard Blome



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