Far-Fetched Facts: The Literature of Travel and the Idea of the South Seas

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9780198186274: Far-Fetched Facts: The Literature of Travel and the Idea of the South Seas

Far-Fetched Facts is a fascinating look at travel literature, both real and imaginary, from classical times, via early accounts of the new world, to later accounts of the South Sea islands that lay beyond. Rennie traces continuities from the Odyssey to the twentieth century, and stresses the interplay of fact and fiction in a literature with a notorious tendency to stray from the truth. In the process, he provides close readings of various accounts of the mutiny on the Bounty as well as writings by and about Cook, Bougainville, Defoe, Swift, Byron, Melville, Loti, and Stevenson.

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About the Author:

Neil Rennie is at University College London.

Review:


"A work of exhaustive scholarship, this comprehensive account of the history of Western travel literature is a required holding for every humanities library....Highly recommended."--Choice


"An energetically researched book and useful in bringing together in one place a large number of early stories about lost paradise and imagined worlds."--American Literature


"Richly informative, witty, well written and full of sharply alert insight....A highly valuable and interesting book, from which I for one have learned much and to which I shall return often.--Claude Rawson, Times Literary Supplement


"A work of exhaustive scholarship by Neil Rennie,...this comprehensive and unimpeachable account of the history of Western travel literature should be a required holding for every library in the humanities."--Manoa


"[A]s the first full-length, scholarly study of "the idea of the South Seas," it is a major contribution in a newly revitalized field and a gold mine of information on "travellers and travel liars."--The Scriblerian


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