Political uses of otherworld imagery are most clearly visible in texts that rewrite actual world locations as otherworlds. This rewriting is by no means limited to accounts of remote and unexplored corners of the world. Some medieval writers do this when describing locations like Britain, Ireland, and the surrounding islands, such as the Isle of Man. This chapter refigures the relationship scholars have traditionally ascribed to the historical world and the fictive otherworld. Rather than seeing the narrative otherworld as merely a reflection of known or postulated historical beliefs, this chapter foregrounds the force and influence of fantastical otherworld descriptions by illustrating how frequently and effectively imagery associated with them was applied in treatments of the history and geography of actual locations.
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