Hidden geographies and digital humanities: analysing and visualising the literary corpus of Humphrey Llwyd

Catherine Porter*, Rebecca Milligan, Keith Lilley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Digital technologies are rapidly altering the approaches used to analyse and visualise the content of early texts. This is especially evident in the growth and popularity of digital and spatial humanities projects exploring the geographies of historical and literary sources. Despite twenty-first century advances, this research has so far been limited by the common isolation and separation of different mediums of text which often form associated components of an overall narrative. This paper challenges this separation by offering a combined analysis and re-examination of the written and cartographic corpus of the Welsh antiquary, Humphrey Llwyd (c.1527-1568). Llwyd’s outputs are re-evaluated via an innovative fusion of previously disparate avenues of investigation commonly employed in the digital humanities, literary geography, the history of cartography and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The analyses reveal that Llwyd’s written and visual chorography of early Britain and Wales contain hitherto ‘hidden’ geographies that Llwyd drew upon and divulges previously unknown connections between his different forms of chorography. The paper concludes with a recommendation that we think outside of our core skill-set and re-imagine our approach to textual research to provide a more complete and connected view of the layers of geography in early cultural texts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96
Number of pages118
JournalLiterary Geographies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2020


  • Historical Geography
  • GIS
  • Chorography
  • Early Modern
  • Cartography
  • Humphrey Llwyd
  • Digital Humanities
  • History of cartography
  • Place names


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