Synopses & Reviews
If one had looked for a potential global city in Europe in the 1540s, the most likely candidate would have been Antwerp, which had emerged as the center of the German and Spanish silver exchange as well as the Portuguese spice and Spanish sugar trades. It almost certainly would not have been London, an unassuming hub of the wool and cloth trade with a population of around 75,000, still trying to recover from the onslaught of the Black Plague. But by 1700 Londonand#8217;s population had reached a staggering 575,000and#8212;and it had developed its first global corporations, as well as relationships with non-European societies outside the Mediterranean. What happened in the span of a century and half? And how exactly did London transform itself into a global city?and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;Londonand#8217;s success, Robert K. Batchelor argues, lies not just with the well-documented rise of Atlantic settlements, markets, and economies. Using his discovery of a network of Chinese merchant shipping routes on John Seldenand#8217;s map of China as his jumping-off point, Batchelor reveals how London also flourished because of its many encounters, engagements, and exchanges with East Asian trading cities. Translation plays a key role in Batchelorand#8217;s studyand#8212;translation not just of books, manuscripts, and maps, but also of meaning and knowledge across culturesand#8212;and Batchelor demonstrates how translation helped London understand and adapt to global economic conditions. Looking outward at Londonand#8217;s global negotiations, Batchelor traces the development of its knowledge networks back to a number of foreign sources and credits particular interactions with Englandand#8217;s eventual political and economic autonomy from church and King.and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;London
offers a much-needed non-Eurocentric history of London, first by bringing to light and then by synthesizing the many external factors and pieces of evidence that contributed to its rise as a global city. It will appeal to students and scholars interested in the cultural politics of translation, the relationship between merchants and sovereigns, and the cultural and historical geography of Britain and Asia.
"Written in a fluid and enjoyable style, this book is an outstanding addition to the research into knowledge production and practices in the early British Empire. Ogborn's research establishes the relevancy for the reader of applying studies of specific geographies of place to current explorations of the role of print and print culture in the dissemination of knowledge and the consequences and ramifications for the establishment of authority and the spread of political power."
"[A] remarkable achievement in cultural nd economic history."
"By arguing that the interrelationship of geography and writing was essential to networks of trade and the establishment of political domination, Ogborn offers fresh perspective on a literature preoccupied with the Company's involvement in bullion and opium."
and#8220;[F]ascinating. [Batchelor] shows how the skein of shipping routes on the Selden map were connected with the rise of London as a global city.and#8221;
andldquo;Robert K. Batchelorandrsquo;s London
renews the andlsquo;origins of modernityandrsquo; debate. The time when Londonandmdash;rather than Englandandmdash;was a rising power saw a furor of translation and adaptation, long chains of influence visible only at their ends, and a degree of institutional creativity we can envy. With detail, passion, and curiosity Batchelor reconstructs the multipolar world of the first half of the seventeenth century, as plotted by men for whom knowledge was power.andrdquo;
andldquo;In this stunningly detailed, engaging, and polyglot study, Robert K. Batchelor plots us a map of the early modern English encounter with Asia, triangulated among the intimately related enterprises of translation, cartography, and commercial and colonial expansion. Following the circulation of manuscripts and maps alongside merchants, missionaries, and marauders alike, this book finds a strikingly complex genealogy not only of John Seldenandrsquo;s remarkable map of Chinaand#160;but of the development of Londonandmdash;and even modernity itselfandmdash;in a seventeenth-century global context.andrdquo;
andldquo;In the course of a tumultuous seventeenth century, London changed from an energetic newcomer on the fringes of old Europe to a global center of trade, power, and interactive knowledge. In a work of amazing erudition and ambition, Robert K. Batchelor shows how new forms of organization and knowledge of more Asian histories and languages shaped this transformation.andrdquo;
andldquo;Robert K. Batchelorandrsquo;s elegantly written and lavishly illustrated book is a remarkable achievement. He explains how changes in East Asia made London into a global city. In so doing he forces us to recalibrate our notions of the coming of modernity. Modernity in Batchelorandrsquo;s hands emerges not from Europe but on a global scale and through translation rather than European imposition. This is an immensely learned and stimulating book that will provoke widespread reflection and debate.andrdquo;
"Robert Batchelor argues in this lively and provocative book [that] the early modern Londonerand#8217;s view of the world was cosmopolitan enough to induce vertigo. . . . Batchelor tells his story with great elan. He deftly directs a vast cast of characters and vividly describes a vast range of texts, maps, and other bearers of information. Vignettes give his fast-moving story density and interest. . . . Most dazzlingand#8212;but also most worryingand#8212;is Batchelorand#8217;s vivid historical imagination. . . . . Both in its originality and in its overstatements, London is reminiscent of the work of Frances Yates."
"Both in its originality and in its overstatements, London is reminiscent of the work of Frances Yates. Like her, Batchelor will have his critics, but that's a modest price to pay for changing the way we do history."
"A palimpsest of layers of predominantly English and Asian history mediated through the libraries and map collecting of East Asian, especially Chinese material, by Europeans and especially in London and Oxford during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The result allows the author to describe the emergence of the city of London as the centre of global networks of financial and other exchanges. . . . Robert Batchelor has shown us new avenues of research in this field and has demonstrated its significance to oceanic and global history."
andldquo;The originality of the bookandrsquo;s focus lies in its attention to the whole process of publishing, from the writerandrsquo;s original notebooks through to the end product and its marketing. It moves from the facts of travel and geographical exploration to consider how the accounts of these travels appeared in printandmdash;a journey that turns out to have been rich in complications. This kind of attention is made possible by the uniquely full records that survive in the John Murray Archive. In this sense, the book is a case study; but the issues raised are so wide-ranging that it turns itself into a much more ambitious analysis. Each of the three authors has clearly brought different strengths to the project, broadening and deepening the bookandrsquo;s range. But they have worked together so effectively that the book reads as if it had been written by a single
andldquo;No one did more to transform travel writing into one of the nineteenth centuryandrsquo;s most popular genres than the publishing firm of John Murray, and no one has done more to reveal the significance of that project than the authors of this important new book.and#160; Making meticulous use of the Murray archives, Keighren, Withers, and Bell have written a rich and penetrating account of how, as they put it, andlsquo;the world was put into words.andrsquo;and#160; Their study offers fresh insights into the premises and practices of travel and exploration, the struggle to give credibility to travelersandrsquo; tales, the highly mediated process by which travelers became authors, the social and economic forces that shaped print culture, and much more, making it a work that scholars in a range of disciplines will want to read.andrdquo;
andldquo;Travels into Print offers an original and nuanced approach to book history that exposes the rich interdisciplinary nature of the field. While the work claims neither to be a house history nor an exhaustive exploration of the Murray Archive, its three authors interweave perspectives from historical geography, history of science, art history, material culture, and literary studies to examine travel, topography, and the book trade. In the process, they demonstrate the complex technical, intellectual, political, cultural, and moral negotiations and interventions that bring printed works into the public sphere. Written in a highly engaging, accessible style, Travels into Print gives a fascinating glimpse into the multivariate worlds of travel and exploration narratives and how they have been fashioned in and out of the imaginations of authors, publishers, and their audiences.andrdquo;
andquot;Unapologetic in its claims and exhaustive in its research. . . . Batchelor has issued an important challenge to his field, and historians of England cannot but take it up.andquot;
andquot;Batchelor builds a solid case for English success in translating the Asian world as an indispensable factor in Londonandrsquo;s growth as a global entrepandocirc;t for goods and knowledge alike. The Selden map in particular emerges as a key repository of information on the deep structures of Asian geography and commerce as they existed in the first centuries of European seaborne contact. We are indebted to Batchelor for translating its profundities to us.andquot;
"This is an original and compelling study that reveals through a series of well-chosen case studies how the production, dissenmination, and performance of knowledge was shaped by time and space."
andldquo;Opens up a world of travel writing. The link between a world-leading publisher and two centuries of exploration is . . . celebrated.andrdquo;
A commercial company established in 1600 to monopolize trade between England and the Far East, the East India Company grew to govern an Indian empire. Exploring the relationship between power and knowledge in European engagement with Asia, Indian Ink examines the Company at work and reveals how writing and print shaped authority on a global scale in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Tracing the history of the Company from its first tentative trading voyages in the early seventeenth century to the foundation of an empire in Bengal in the late eighteenth century, Miles Ogborn takes readers into the scriptoria, ships, offices, print shops, coffeehouses, and palaces to investigate the forms of writing needed to exert power and extract profit in the mercantile and imperial worlds. Interpreting the making and use of a variety of forms of writing in script and print, Ogborn argues that material and political circumstances always undermined attempts at domination through the power of the written word.
Navigating the juncture of imperial history and the history of the book, Indian Ink uncovers the intellectual and political legacies of early modern trade and empire and charts a new understanding of the geography of print culture.
In eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain, books of travel and exploration were much more than simply the printed experiences of intrepid authors. They were works of both artistry and industryandmdash;products of the complex, and often contested, relationships between authors and editors, publishers and printers. These books captivated the reading public and played a vital role in creating new geographical truths. In an age of global wonder and of expanding empires, there was no publisher more renowned for its travel books than the House of John Murray.
Drawing on detailed examination of the John Murray Archive of manuscripts, images, and the firmandrsquo;s correspondence with its many authorsandmdash;a list that included such illustrious explorers and scientists as Charles Darwin and Charles Lyell, and literary giants like Jane Austen, Lord Byron, and Sir Walter Scottandmdash;Travels into Print considers how journeys of exploration became published accounts and how travelers sought to demonstrate the faithfulness of their written testimony and to secure their personal credibility. This fascinating study in historical geography and book history takes modern readers on a journey into the nature of exploration, the production of authority in published travel narratives, and the creation of geographical authorshipandmdash;a journey bound together by the unifying force of a world-leading publisher.
About the Author
Innes M. Keighren is a senior lecturer in human geography at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is the author of Bringing Geography to Book: Ellen Semple and the Reception of Geographical Knowledge.Charles W. J. Withers is the Ogilvie Professor of Geography at the University of Edinburgh. He is the author or coauthor of many books, including Placing the Enlightenment: Thinking Geographically about the Age of Reason.Bill Bell is professor of bibliography at Cardiff University. He is the general editor of the four-volume Edinburgh History of the Book in Scotland and editor of The Library: The Transactions of the Bibliographical Society.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Translating Asia
The View from the Library
The Global City
The Question of Translation
The Subject of the Book
1. The Global Corporation
1553: The Joint-Stock Company
Redefining the Translator
The Cosmographic Break
Asian Demands: The Emerging Silver Cycle
2. National Autonomy
1588: Reading a Chinese Map in London
Translating and#147;Chinaand#8221; and and#147;Giapanand#8221;
Exchanging Chinese Maps
The State and Sovereign Space
3. The Value of History: Languages, Records, and Laws
1619: John Selden, Hugo Grotius, and East Asia
Legal Relations: Opening London to Asian Trade
Asian Libraries in London, Oxford, and Cambridge
The Selden Map
4. The Image of Absolutism
1661: Taming the Rebellious Emporium
Asia and the Problem of Restored Sovereignty
Absolutism and John Ogilbyand#8217;s World Picture
Brokering the Absolutist Image: Interventions from Bombay and Taiwan
5. The System of the World
1687: Global Revolutions
The Search for New Translation Methods
The Newtonian System
Conclusion: Asia and the Making of Modern London
A Note on Manuscripts