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Elizabeth Heckendorn Cook
University of California, Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara, CA 93106-0001)
British Silva Culture: Trees and Forests in Long Eighteenth-Century Literature

"British Silva Culture" is the first booklength study of trees in the cultural media of the long eighteenth century (roughly 1650-1820). Chapters examine how trees and forests were represented in poetry, novels, travel narratives, natural-history writing, silvicultural manuals, and the visual arts, in the context of the material history of government and private woodland management and timber production. At the same time that Britain's Crown and private forests at home and abroad were being managed for increased timber production, "pet" trees and forests became repositories for new kinds of affect and new models of literary authority. Representations of trees and forests underwrote the construction of national and personal identities in British and colonial literature and culture; grounded ethical, philosophical, and political debates about utilitarianism and other modes of value; and framed dramas about personal and public character.

Project fields:
British Literature

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2008 – 8/31/2008