Living on an island at the edge of the known world, the medieval Irish were in a unique position to examine the spaces of the North Atlantic region and contemplate how geography can shape a people. This book is the first full-length study of medieval Irish topographical writing. It situates the theories and poetics of Irish place - developed over six centuries in response to a variety of political, cultural, religious and economic changes - in the bigger theoretical picture of studies of space, landscape, environmental writing and postcolonial identity construction. Presenting focused studies of important literary texts by authors from Ireland and Britain, it shows how these discourses influenced European conceptions of place and identity, as well as understandings of how to write the world. -- .