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The perception of Europeans of the world and of the peoples beyond Europe has become in recent years the subject of intense scholarly interest and heated debate both in and outside the academy. So, too, has the concern with how it was that those peoples who were variously ’discovered’, and then, as often as not, colonised, understood the strangers in their midst. This volume attempts to cover both these topics, as well as to provide a number of crucial articles on the difficulties faced by modern historians in understanding the complex, relationship between ’them’ and ’us’. Inevitably such relationships not only changed over time, they also varied greatly from culture to culture. The articles, therefore cover most of the areas with which the European world came into contact from the earliest Portuguese incursions into Africa in the mid fifteenth century until the explorations of Cook and Bougainville in the Pacific in the late eighteenth. It ranges, too, from Brazil to Russia, from Tahiti to China.