Romanticism and the Materiality of Nature

By Onno Oerlemans

© 2002

Given current environmental concerns, it is not surprising to find literary critics and theorists surveying the Romantic poets with ecological hindsight. In this timely study, Onno Oerlemans extends these current eco-critical views by synthesizing a range of viewpoints from the Romantic period. He explores not only the ideas of poets and artists, but also those of philosophers, scientists, and explorers.

Oerlemans grounds his discussion in the works of specific Romantic authors, especially Wordsworth and Shelley, but also draws liberally on such fields as literary criticism, the philosophy of science, travel literature, environmentalist policy, art history, biology, geology, and genetics, creating a fertile mix of historical analysis, cultural commentary, and close reading. Through this, we discover that the Romantics understood how they perceived the physical world, and how they distorted and abused it. Oerlemans's wide-ranging study adds much to our understanding of Romantic-period thinkers and their relationship to the natural world.

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Product Details

  • Series: Heritage
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 262 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.7in x 9.0in
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SKU# SP001297

  • PUBLISHED DEC 2002

    From: $39.75

    Regular Price: $53.00

    ISBN 9780802086976
  • PUBLISHED DEC 2002

    From: $37.50

    Regular Price: $50.00

Quick Overview

Oerlemans extends current eco-critical views by synthesizing a range of viewpoints from the Romantic period.

Romanticism and the Materiality of Nature

By Onno Oerlemans

© 2002

Given current environmental concerns, it is not surprising to find literary critics and theorists surveying the Romantic poets with ecological hindsight. In this timely study, Onno Oerlemans extends these current eco-critical views by synthesizing a range of viewpoints from the Romantic period. He explores not only the ideas of poets and artists, but also those of philosophers, scientists, and explorers.

Oerlemans grounds his discussion in the works of specific Romantic authors, especially Wordsworth and Shelley, but also draws liberally on such fields as literary criticism, the philosophy of science, travel literature, environmentalist policy, art history, biology, geology, and genetics, creating a fertile mix of historical analysis, cultural commentary, and close reading. Through this, we discover that the Romantics understood how they perceived the physical world, and how they distorted and abused it. Oerlemans's wide-ranging study adds much to our understanding of Romantic-period thinkers and their relationship to the natural world.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Heritage
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 262 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.7in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    'By juxtaposing travel literature and vegetarianism, the horse paintings of George Stubbs and the animal poetry of John Clare, the material particularity of Wordsworth and the taxonomic theories of Foucault, Cuvier, and Darwin, Oerlemans creates a splendid cross-fertilizing of fields. The result is a very exciting, fresh consideration of the complex resonances between Romanticism and environmentalism, materiality and sublimity, and natural history and literature. A welcome study.'


    J. Douglas Kneale, Department of English, University of Western Ontario
  • Author Information

    Onno Oerlemans is an associate professor in the Department of English at Hamilton College.

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