Any scholar engaged in the practice of ecocriticism, or in Romantic poetry and its engagement with the material world, will find much of interest in the deeply considered essays of Romantic Ecocriticism: Origins and Legacies, part of the Lexington series “Ecocritical Theory and Practice.” In practice, “Romanticism” is here mostly represented by its more canonical poets, and especially Wordsworth, around whom the anxieties of ecologists and ecocritics converge. Most of the volume’s essays set out to reclaim Romanticism for ecological or at least proto-ecological thinking, cementing the movement in a place it has held, despite intermittent challenges, since the early nineteenth century. If this leads the contributing authors to the occasional moment of defensiveness, and the inflation of various interlocutors’ limited and poorly contextualized arguments only to demolish them, they can be forgiven in light of the urgency of our predicament. As we face a cataclysmic sixth mass extinction...
Romantic Ecocriticism: Origins and Legacies, by Dewey W. Hall, ed.
OLIVIA MURPHY is a postdoctoral research fellow in English at the University of Sydney, having previously taught at Murdoch University, Perth, and the University of Oxford. She is the author of Jane Austen: The Reader (Palgrave, 2013) and the coeditor of collections of essays with William McCarthy (Anna Letitia Barbauld: New Perspectives, Bucknell UP, 2013) and with Anne Collett (Romantic Climates: Literature and Science in an Age of Catastrophe, Palgrave, forthcoming 2019). She has published widely on Jane Austen and related topics, and holds an Australian Research Council Discovery Project Grant (with Mary Spongberg) investigating Austen’s maternal relations, the Leigh family of Warwickshire. She is currently completing a manuscript about the violent backlash against the Enlightenment in the 1790s, and its impact on two progressive Dissenting intellectuals, the writer and educational theorist Anna Letitia Barbauld and her friend the scientist and theologian Joseph Priestley.
Olivia Murphy; Romantic Ecocriticism: Origins and Legacies, by Dewey W. Hall, ed.. Pacific Coast Philology 15 April 2019; 54 (1): 93–97. doi: https://doi.org/10.5325/pacicoasphil.54.1.0093
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