Road to Egdon Heath: The Aesthetics of the Great in Nature

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McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP, 1999 - 409 pages
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Bevis examines a wide range of English, European, and North American texts, literary works as well as religious, scientific, and travel writing. He surveys the literature on mountain climbing, sea voyages, desert travel, and polar exploration, and its metaphorical uses in poetry and fiction. Relying on Addison's term "the Great" rather than "the sublime," he shows how works such as Darwin's journals, Lyell's studies in geology, and de Saussure's books on the Alps helped form an outlook on nature that also found frequent literary expression. A wide-ranging, interdisciplinary work in the history of ideas, The Road to Egdon Heath traces the growth of an aesthetic sensibility that is now ubiquitous but which would have been incomprehensible prior to the Renaissance. This sensibility underlies not only much of modern literature but also our modern ideas about conservation, ecology, and environmentalism.
 

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Contents

Tempe and Thule I
3
UNDERPINNINGS
9
THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY
39
Fiction and Travel
138
THE NINETEENTH CENTURY
159
American Novelists and the Great
204
Desert Travel 183070
223
The Meanings of Mountains 183070
239
The Great and Barren in European Literature
263
Victorian Writers by the Sea of Doubt
279
The 1870s
303
THE HEATH REVISITED
327
Chronology
333
Lexicon
349
Works Cited
375
Index
397

Polar Exploration 183067
254

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