By Peter C. Mancall
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Less impressive was the college library, which had earlier been part of St. Frideswyde’s Priory, a church originally dedicated to St. Lucia. ∂ Few surviving records detail Hakluyt’s actions during his ﬁrst years at Oxford. Extant accounts at Christ Church reveal that he was in residence there by January 8, 1571, and earned his bachelor of arts by late March 1574. He remained at Christ Church until at least Michelmas 1575, and records in the college’s archives reveal that he became master of arts there in May 1577.
CHAP TER ∂ kl Oxford, 1577 The Ice O n May 14, 1577, the twenty-ﬁve-year-old Richard Hakluyt joined the faculty at Christ Church. ∞ At Christ Church and elsewhere he had access to small collections of books that revealed an entire world beyond the one he could see for himself. These books promised, as their titles often claimed, to tell readers the ‘‘truth’’ about a speciﬁc subject, a common rhetorical strategy in an ever-crowded book market. Some of these texts told about Frobisher’s exploits in the ice-choked waters of the North Atlantic in the mid-1570s.
As a result, the characteristic T-O shape faded into oblivion. But old myths die hard, even for a wise cosmographer. Münster kept Jerusalem near the center, per its theological signiﬁcance and historic setting. But he sensed no balance in the continents. Instead North America (‘‘Terra Florida’’) and South America (‘‘America vel Brasilijins’’) ﬁll the western edge of Münster’s world, though not yet in their modern shape. The Americas have no Paciﬁc coast. Sea monsters, familiar intruders in early maps, troll the waters.