In contemporary eco-theory, few words are as unfashionable as the archaic and nebulous term nature. According to Timothy Morton and the ecomaterialist school, to speak of nature perpetuates the dualistic bias engrained in Western thought that has propelled us towards environmental crisis. There is, therefore, something admirably defiant in Peter Remien’s illuminating study of the n-word. Despite its title, the book is not an exhaustive survey of the myriad connotations of nature in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century usage, and is far more valuable than such a semantic catalogue would be. Instead it conducts a riveting inquiry into intellectual, religious, and material significance of economy as a ‘proto-ecological’ concept.