Mute Timber? Fiscal Forestry and Environmental Stichomythia in the Old Arcadia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


In 1590, two years after its original quarto publication, Thomas Harriot’s A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia received a second lavish printing complete with twenty-eight engravings of the Southeastern Algonquin. Although the text has recently gained notoriety as a prime example of early modern ethnography, critics have sometimes overlooked its main purpose: to drum up investment in the colonial venture. The first half of the book is in fact nothing more than an inventory of the abundant “marchantable commodities” [sic] of the New World that await only the hand of an intrepid entrepreneur to be converted into a handsome profit. Chapter 3, entitled “Of commodities for building and other necessary uses,” turns out to be a list of various trees species native to the Eastern seaboard accompanied by a detailed description of their numerous commercial applications.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEarly Modern Ecostudies
Subtitle of host publicationFrom the Florentine Codex to Shakespeare
EditorsThomas Hallcock, Ivo Kamps, Karen L. Raber
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan US
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9780230617940
ISBN (Print)9780230604612, 9781349372355
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2009
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameEarly Modern Cultural Studies 1500-1700
ISSN (Print)2634-5897
ISSN (Electronic)2634-5900


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