Journal Article

Drayton's ‘Silent Spring’: <i>Poly-Olbion</i> and the Politics of Landscape

Sukanya Dasgupta

in The Cambridge Quarterly

Published on behalf of Cambridge Quarterly

Volume 39, issue 2, pages 152-171
Published in print June 2010 | ISSN: 0008-199X
Published online June 2010 | e-ISSN: 1471-6836 | DOI:
Drayton's ‘Silent Spring’: Poly-Olbion and the Politics of Landscape

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Michael Drayton's engagement with the environment in his chorographical poem Poly-Olbion reflects a desire to connect a literary text to the problems inherent in our complex relationship with nature and anticipates many modern economic, social and political debates on the environment. This paper attempts an ‘ecocritical’ approach to Poly-Olbion, given the poem's rich hermeneutic potential for the emerging field of ‘green criticism’. Drayton's idolatry of nature can be seen as part of an imagined archaic economy in a pre-capitalist England, where nature is seen as a ‘symbolic capital’ (to use Pierre Bourdieu's term), rather than as an object for expropriation.

Journal Article.  7910 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Art ; Film ; Music

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