Ecocriticism and Early Modern English Literature

Green Pastures

Research output: Book/ReportBook

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this timely new study. Borlik reveals the surprisingly rich potential for the emergent “green” criticism to yield fresh insights into early modern English literature. Deftly avoiding the anachronistic casting of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century authors as modern environmentalists, he argues that environmental issues, such as nature’s personhood, deforestation, energy use, air quality, climate change, and animal sentience, are formative concerns in many early modern texts. The readings infuse a new urgency in familiar works by Shakespeare, Sidney, Spenser, Marlowe, Ralegh, Jonson, Donne, and Milton. At the same time, the book forecasts how ecocriticism will bolster the reputation of less canonical authors like Drayton, Wroth, Bruno, Gascoigne, and Cavendish. Its chapters trace provocative affinities between topics such as Pythagorean ecology and the Gaia hypothesis, Ovidian tropes and green phenomenology, the disenchantment of Nature and the Little Ice Age, and early modern pastoral poetry and modern environmental ethics. It also examines the ecological onus of Renaissance poetics, while showcasing how the Elizabethans’ sense of a sophisticated interplay between nature and art can provide a precedent for ecocriticism’s current understanding of the relationship between nature and culture as “mutually constructive.” Situating plays and poems alongside an eclectic array of secondary sources, including herbals, forestry laws, husbandry manuals, almanacs, and philosophical treatises on politics and ethics. Borlik demonstrates that Elizabethan and Jacobean authors were very much aware of, and concerned about, the impact of human beings on their natural surroundings.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherRoutledge
Number of pages292
Edition1
ISBN (Electronic)9780203819241
ISBN (Print)9780415878616, 0415878616
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Nature
English Literature
Early Modern English
Ecocriticism
Pasture
Elizabethan Age
Personhood
Phenomenology
Poetry
Air
Energy
Gaia
Treatise
Casting
Disenchantment
Ecology
Deforestation
Art
Poem
Climate Change

Cite this

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Ecocriticism and Early Modern English Literature : Green Pastures. / Borlik, Todd A.

1 ed. New York : Routledge, 2011. 292 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

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