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Synopsis

Situated at the intersection of ecocriticism, affect studies, and Romantic studies, this collection breaks new ground on the role of emotions in Western environmentalism. Recent scholarship highlights how traffic between Romantic-era literature and science helped to catalyze Green Romanticism. Closer to our own moment, the affective turn reflects similar cross-disciplinary collaboration, as many scholars now see the physiological phenomenon of affect as a force central to how we develop conscious attitudes and commitments. Together, these trends offer suggestive insights for the study of Green Romanticism.

While critics have traditionally positioned Romantic Nature as idealized and illusory, Romantic representations of nature are, in fact, ambivalent, scientifically informed, and ethically engaged. They often reflect writers’ efforts to capture the fleeting experience of affect, raising urgent questions about how nature evokes feelings, and what demands these sensations place upon the feeling subject. By focusing on the affective dimensions of Green Romanticism, Wordsworth and the Green Romantics advances a vision of Romantic ecology that complicates scholarly perceptions of Romantic Nature, as well as popular caricatures of the Romantics as naïve nature lovers.

This collection will interest scholars and students of Romanticism, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British literature, ecocriticism, affect studies, and those who work at the intersection of literature and science.

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