A landscape of words

Ireland, Britain and the poetics of space, 700-1250

By Amy C. Mulligan

A landscape of words


  • Hardcover
  • Paperback

Book Information

  • Format: eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-4112-5
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Published Date: May 2019
  • BIC Category: LITERARY CRITICISM / Medieval, Humanities / British & Irish history, Humanities / Medieval history, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: classical, early & medieval, HISTORY / Medieval, Literary studies: ancient & classical, Medieval Literature, Literature, Irish Literature and Drama, Irish Studies
  • Series: Manchester Medieval Literature and Culture


Living on an island at the edge of the known world, the medieval Irish were in a unique position to examine the spaces of the North Atlantic region and contemplate how geography can shape a people. This book is the first full-length study of medieval Irish topographical writing. It situates the theories and poetics of Irish place - developed over six centuries in response to a variety of political, cultural, religious and economic changes - in the bigger theoretical picture of studies of space, landscape, environmental writing and postcolonial identity construction. Presenting focused studies of important literary texts by authors from Ireland and Britain, it shows how these discourses influenced European conceptions of place and identity, as well as understandings of how to write the world.


'Through its engagement with interdisciplinary discussions about space and identity as well
as its attention to the needs of nonspecialists, A landscape of words should find a broad reader-
ship among scholars and students of medieval literature.'
Aisling Byrne, Speculum



Winner of the Donald Murphy Prize for Distinguished First Book


1 Holy islands: transformative landscapes and the origins of an Irish spatial poetics
2 Place-making heroes and the storying of Ireland's vernacular landscape
3 A versified Ireland: the Dindshenchas Érenn and a national poetics of space
4 National pilgrims: travelling a sanctified landscape with Saint Patrick
5 English topographies of Ireland's conquest and conversion


Amy C. Mulligan is Associate Professor of Irish Language and Literature at the University of Notre Dame

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