Romanticism and the Materiality of Nature

Book Title

Romanticism and the Materiality of Nature

Type of Work



Publication Date



University of Toronto Press


Toronto, Canada




Given current environmental concerns, it is not surprising to find literary critics and theorists surveying the Romantic poets with ecological hindsight. In this timely study, Onno Oerlemans extends these current ecocritical views by synthesizing a range of viewpoints from the Romantic period. He explores not only the ideas of poets and artists, but also those of philosophers, scientists, and explorers.

Oerlemans grounds his discussion in the works of specific Romantic authors, especially Wordsworth and Shelley, but also draws liberally on such fields as literary criticism, the philosophy of science, travel literature, environmentalist policy, art history, biology, geology, and genetics. He creates a fertile mix of historical analysis, cultural commentary, and close reading. Through this, we discover that the Romantics understood how they perceived the physical world, and how they distorted and abused it. Oerlemans's wide-ranging study adds much to our understanding of Romantic-period thinkers and their relationship to the natural world.

Hamilton Areas of Study

Literature and Creative Writing

Romanticism and the Materiality of Nature