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What Else Is Pastoral? – Renaissance Literature and the Environment - Cornell Scholarship Online
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What Else Is Pastoral?: Renaissance Literature and the Environment

Ken Hiltner


Pastoral was one of the most popular literary forms of early modern England. Inspired by classical and Italian Renaissance antecedents, writers from Ben Jonson to John Beaumont and Abraham Cowley wrote in idealized terms about the English countryside. It is often argued that the Renaissance pastoral was a highly figurative mode of writing that had more to do with culture and politics than with the actual countryside of England. For decades now literary criticism has had it that in pastoral verse, hills and crags and moors were extolled for their metaphoric worth, rather than for their own qual ... More

Keywords: Renaissance pastoral, English countryside, writing, literary criticism, pastoral verse, poems, rural landscape, pastoral poetry

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780801449406
Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016 DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801449406.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ken Hiltner, author
Associate Professor of English, the University of California, Santa Barbara