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Early modern travel tales
Kenneth Parker

This chapter presents two main objectives: to show that texts modelled upon the Mandevillian mode were not only published and read in early modern England, and they were fascinatingly excluded from the collections of travellers' tales. Balanced against those are two perhaps equally intriguing silences: about the motivations that spurred writers as well as publishers, and about whether or not readers could make distinctions between volumes of the kind categorised as 'Mandevillian' and those based upon actual travels. While early modern tellers of tales might be excused because they could not distinguish between camel meat and beef, no such qualification can be made for those recent and current critics, because attempts at separating travels from 'travel lies' simply highlight the questionable ideological mainstays that underpin their literary and critical foundations. People should celebrate the intellectual skills of the forgers of these texts that continue to have a Mandevillian afterlife.

in A knight’s legacy