Deserted Village and Animated Nature: An Ecocritical Approach to Oliver Goldsmith

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

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Details

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVoice and Context in Eighteenth-Century Verse: Order in Variety
EditorsAllan Ingram, Joanna Fowler
Place of PublicationBasingstoke
PublisherMacmillan
Pages117-132
ISBN (Print)978-1137487629
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2015
Publication type

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

‘Deserted Village and Animated Nature: An Ecocritical Approach to Oliver Goldsmith’ offers an ecocritical reading of Oliver Goldsmith’s 1773 poem The Deserted Village, arguing that a practical understanding of botany, zoology, and hydrology may help readers to understand the long-standing debate over the location of Auburn: the community at the heart of the poem. Comparing Goldsmith’s depiction of Auburn’s rivers, plants, and birds with his scientific accounts of the same features and species in his 1774 History of the Earth and Animated Nature, Carey shows that Auburn is unlikely to be a literal depiction of Nuneham Courtney in Oxfordshire, nor can it precisely be identified with Lissoy in Ireland. Instead, it is best understood as an imaginary location, constructed to meet the demands of the pastoral elegy form, and reflecting multiple and sometimes contradictory viewpoints of a changing landscape.