Imagining the Americas in Print

Books, Maps and Encounters in the Atlantic World


In Imagining the Americas in Print, Michiel van Groesen reveals the variety of ways in which publishers and printers in early modern Europe gathered information about the Americas, constructed a narrative, and used it to further colonial ambitions in the Atlantic world (1500–1700). The essays examine the creative ways in which knowledge was manufactured in printing workshops. Collectively they bring to life the vivid print culture that determined the relationship between the Old World and the New in the Age of Encounters, and chart the genres that reflected and shaped the European imagination, and helped to legitimate ideologies of colonialism in the next two centuries.

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Michiel van Groesen is Professor of Maritime History at Leiden University. He is the author of Representations of the Overseas World in the De Bry Collection of Voyages (2008) and Amsterdam’s Atlantic: Print Culture and the Making of Dutch Brazil (2017).
“The variety of print and manuscript artifacts that Groesen examines, along with the depth and attention to detail he pays to his objects of study, make this book a worthy read for Atlantic and book historians alike.”
Rachel Stein, Tulane University. In: Journal of Early Modern History, vol. 24. No. 4–5, (September 2020), pp. 445–447.

“Van Groesen’s book represents a valuable contribution to transatlantic history, the history of the book, as well as the history of visual culture.”
Mirela Altić, Institute of Social Sciences, Zagreb, in: Journal of Jesuit Studies, Vol. 7, No. 4 (2020), pp. 678–681.

List of Illustrations

Introduction: Imagining the Americas in Print

The De Bry Collection of Voyages (1590–1634): Early America Reconsidered

2 Patagonian Giants in West Africa? Two Versions of the First Dutch Attempt to Circumnavigate the World

3 Dierick Ruiters’ Manuscript Maps and the Birth of the Dutch Atlantic

4 A Brazilian Jesuit in Amsterdam: Anti-Spanish and Anti-Catholic Rhetoric in the Early Dutch Golden Age

5 (No) News from the Western Front: The Weekly Press of the Low Countries and the Making of Atlantic News

6 Visualizing the News: The Amsterdam Spin-Doctor Claes Jansz Visscher and the West India Company

7 Beyond Law and Order: Encounters at Arguin and the Beginnings of the Dutch Slave Trade, 1633–1634

8 The Printed Book in the Dutch Atlantic World

9 Arnoldus Montanus, Dutch Brazil, and the Re-emergence of Cannibalism

10 The Atlantic World in Paperback: The Amsterdam Publisher Jan ten Hoorn and His Catalogue of Popular Americana

11 Heroic Memories: Admirals of Dutch Brazil in the Rise of Dutch National Consciousness

All interested in representations of the Atlantic world in early modern Europe, and more generally in the history of the book, print culture, Atlantic history, and maritime history.