“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Wordsworthian Matters

Cumbria is as extraordinary as when I leapt up and down the hills as a child for the first fifteen years of my life. My grandparents lived there, in remoter, wilder northern Cumbria off of Bassenthwaite Lake, dark and immense.

Immediately I saw the warmth and small r republican vibe that the Romantics extolled. Haven't been there for a conference since 1990 when Jonathan Bate gave his famous "Romantic Ecology" talk. Mine was called "Romantic Ecology Revisited."

Next year I'll be back to talk to non-scholars about all this for a special event at the Dove Cottage museum, which is brilliantly organized and heartbreakingly beautiful.

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