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Environmental Degradation in Jacobean Drama


  • Date Published: October 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107559462

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About the Authors
  • In Environmental Degradation in Jacobean Drama, Bruce Boehrer provides the first general history of the Shakespearean stage to focus primarily on ecological issues. Early modern English drama was conditioned by the environmental events of the cities and landscapes within which it developed. Boehrer introduces Jacobean London as the first modern European metropolis in an England beset by problems of overpopulation; depletion of resources and species; land, water and air pollution; disease and other health-related issues; and associated changes in social behavior and cultural output. In six chapters he discusses the work of the most productive and influential playwrights of the day: Shakespeare, Jonson, Middleton, Fletcher, Dekker and Heywood, exploring the strategies by which they made sense of radical ecological change in their drama. In the process, Boehrer sketches out these playwrights' differing responses to environmental issues and traces their legacy for later literary formulations of green consciousness.

    • The first broad account of how environmental change affected the Shakespearean theater and will appeal to those interested in environmental history, theater history, ecostudies and ecocriticism
    • Considers Shakespeare alongside his principal contemporary playwrights and offers readers a range of different theatrical responses to ecological change as a model for distinguishing between these dramatists
    • Provides a general account of how human behavior changed the natural world of Shakespeare's England to offer an insight into how Shakespeare's contemporaries were changing - and being changed by - the natural world in which they lived
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This book is an impressive work of social history offering excellent chapters on Shakespeare's extra-theatrical business endeavours and Middleton's civic pageantry … Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, faculty.' A. Moore, Choice

    'By a series of incisive and sensitive critical readings Boehrer shows that we can see and hear how early moderns reacted to the same problems we are facing today. The resulting book is ecocriticism of the highest order.' Gabriel Egan, Renaissance Quarterly

    '… Boehrer's study contains fascinating material … It will force its readers to think about what ecocriticism can and should be.' Anna Swärdh, Studia Neophilologica

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107559462
    • length: 224 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 153 x 12 mm
    • weight: 0.35kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Middleton and ecological change
    2. Jonson and the universe of things
    3. Shakespeare's dirt
    4. John Fletcher and the ecology of manhood
    5. Dekker's walks and orchards
    6. Heywood and the spectacle of the hunt

  • Author

    Bruce Boehrer, Florida State University
    Bruce Boehrer is Bertram H. Davis Professor in the Department of English at Florida State University. He is the author of five previous books, including most recently Animal Characters: Nonhuman Beings and European Literature (2010). He is the editor of A Cultural History of Animals in the Renaissance (2007) and since 1999 he has served first as founding Editor and now as Co-Editor of the Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies.

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