Shakespeare's nature : from cultivation to culture /

This book offers the first sustained account of the impact of the language and practice of husbandry on Shakespeare's work. It shows how the early modern discourse of cultivation changes attitude to the natural world, and traces the interrelationships between the human and the natural worlds in...

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Scott, Charlotte.
Edition:1st ed.
Imprint:Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2014.
Description:viii, 257 p. ; 23 cm.
Language:English
Subject:Shakespeare, William, -- 1564-1616 -- Knowledge -- Natural history.
Shakespeare, William, -- 1564-1616.
Nature in literature.
Agriculture in literature.
Agriculture in literature.
Nature in literature.
Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Format: Print Book
URL for this record:http://pi.lib.uchicago.edu/1001/cat/bib/9969423
Hidden Bibliographic Details
ISBN:9780199685080 (hardback)
0199685088 (hardback)
Notes:Includes bibliographical references and index.
Summary:This book offers the first sustained account of the impact of the language and practice of husbandry on Shakespeare's work. It shows how the early modern discourse of cultivation changes attitude to the natural world, and traces the interrelationships between the human and the natural worlds in Shakespeare's work through dramatic and poetic models of intervention, management, prudence and profit. Ranging from the Sonnets to 'The Tempest', the book explains how cultivation of the land responds to and reinforces social welfare, and reveals the extent to which the dominant industry of Shakespeare's time shaped a new language of social relations. Beginning with an examination of the rise in the production of early modern printed husbandry manuals, Shakespeare's Nature draws on the varied fields of economic, agrarian, humanist, Christian and literary studies, showing how the language of husbandry redefined Elizabethan attitudes to both the human and non-human worlds.
Review by Choice Review

In this fascinating study of how both Shakespeare and his culture viewed the land, Scott carefully investigates how Shakespeare engaged with the complex and developing ideas of nature, cultivation, and husbandry. Covering topics ranging from metaphors of cultivation in the sonnets to the way in which the island in The Tempest is figured as both a barren wasteland and a fertile paradise ripe for inhabiting, the author dives deep into Shakespeare's language. She is equally adept at engaging historical sources, offering an impressive array of non-literary texts including Acts of Parliament and various 16th- and 17th-century works on husbandry. Throughout Scott links beliefs about cultivation of land to ideas of social welfare, spirituality, and capitalism. If there is any flaw in the book, it is the absence of any other literary works. Scott mentions in the conclusion that Shakespeare had a more sustained interest in nature and cultivation as a metaphor than any other playwright, but her arguments about the cultural importance of land--literally and symbolically--make it hard to imagine other playwrights and poets did not also engage with these ideas; a comparison would have provided valuable context. Summing Up: Recommended. With the above caveat. Upper-division undergraduates through researchers and faculty. A. Castaldo Widener University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review