Poly-Olbion and the Writing of Britain’

Royal Geographical Society





10.00-10.30     Registration, Main Hall

10.30-11.00     Session 1: Introduction

  • Andrew McRae (Exeter), ‘The Poly-Olbion Project’


11.00-12.45     Session 2: Forms of Nationhood (Chair: Philip Schwyzer)

  • Sara Trevisan (Wisconsin – Madison), ‘National Ancestry and Cultural Geography in Poly-Olbion
  • James Loxley (Edinburgh), ‘Jonson, Drayton and the Mythography of a Binational Britain’
  • Sukanya Dasgupta (Calcutta), ‘Imagining Britain: Reconstructing history and writing national identity in Englands Heroicall Epistles and Poly-Olbion


12.45-2.00       Lunch

  • 15. Introduction to ‘The Children’s Poly-Olbion project and ‘The Faerie Land: Michael Drayton’s Vision of Britain’ exhibition: Liz Ellis (Policy Advisor, Communites and Diversity, Heritage Lottery Fund); Anne Louise Avery and Steve Pratley (Flash of Splendour Arts)


2.00-3.50         Session 3: Waters (Chair: Andrew Hadfield)

  • Sandra Logan (Michigan State), ‘Michael Drayton’s Poly-Olbion: Maritime England and the Free Seas Debate’
  • Shannon Garner-Balandrin (Northeastern), ‘Curls to Curled Waves: the Poly-Olbion and Michael Drayton’s Female Rivers’
  • Bernhard Klein (Kent), ‘Poly-Olbion and “those Rough Gods of the Sea”’


3.50-4.10         Tea


4.10-5.55         Session 4: Localism & Regionalism (Chair: James Loxley)

  • Liz Oakley-Brown (Lancaster), ‘“Of merry Robin Hood, and of his merrier men”: Anti-Curial Chorography and Michael Drayton’s “Robin Hood’s Story”’
  • Todd Andrew Borlik (Huddersfield), ‘Poly-Olbion, Bio-Regionalism, and the Beating of the Bounds’
  • Steph Mastoris (National Waterfront Museum), ‘Choices in chorography: Inclusion and omission in Drayton’s account of Nottinghamshire’


6.00     Exhibition opening: ‘The Faerie Land: Michael Drayton’s Vision of Britain’



9.10-10.50       Session 5: Contexts (Chair: Bernhard Klein)

  • Daniel Cattell, ‘Michael Drayton and Britain’s Religious Past’
  • Robert Smith, ‘Poly-Olbion and the Writing of Britain in John Trussell’s Touchstone of Tradition
  • Esther M. J. van Raamsdonk, ‘British Consciousness, Poly-Olbion and the Travelogue’


10.50-11.10     Coffee


11.10-12.30     Session 6: Cartographies (Chair: Sara Trevisan)

  • Rab MacGibbon (National Portrait Gallery), ‘William Hole:  Drayton’s engraver in the context of Prince Henry’s court’
  • William Porter (Harvard), ‘“By his spatious Maps”: The Cartographic Poly-Olbion



12.30-2.00       Lunch

  • 00-2.00. Concert: ‘With Musick of My Verse: The Music of Michael Drayton’s Poly-Olbion’, Ars Eloquentiae, Ondaatje Theatre


2.05-3.20         Session 7: John Selden’s Poly-Olbion (Chair: Liz Oakley-Brown)

  • Sjoerd Levelt (Bilkent), ‘John Selden’s Medieval Chronicles’
  • Philip Schwyzer (Exeter), ‘Drayton and Selden in Dialogue’


3.25-4.45         Session 8: Poetics (Chair: Sukanya Dasgupta)

  • Angus Vine (Stirling), ‘Drayton’s Copious Chorography’
  • Andrew Hadfield (Sussex), ‘The Problems of Reading The Landscape’


4.45     Closing remarks