This is a companion to Pastoral poetry of the English Renaissance: An anthology (2016), the largest ever collection of its kind. The monograph-length Introduction traces the course of pastoral from antiquity to the present day. The historical account is woven into a thematic map of the richly varied pastoral mode, and it is linked to the social context, not only by local allegory and allusion but by its deeper origins and affinities. English Renaissance pastoral is set within the context of this total perspective. Besides the formal eclogue, the study covers many genres: lyric, epode, georgic, country-house poem, ballad, romantic epic, drama and prose romance. Major practitioners like Theocritus, Virgil, Sidney, Spenser, Drayton and Milton are discussed individually. The Introduction also charts the many means by which pastoral texts circulated during the Renaissance, with implications for the history and reception of all Early Modern poetry. The poems in the Anthology have been edited from the original manuscripts and early printed texts, and the Textual Notes comprehensively document the sources and variant readings. There are also notes on the poets and analytical indices of themes, genres, and various categories of proper names. Seldom, if ever, has a cross-section of English Renaissance poetry been textually annotated in such detail.
Pastoral Poetry of the English Renaissance
1 Theocritus Idyll viii
Translated anonymously from the Greek
From Sixe Idillia ... chosen out of ... Theocritus (1588). This idyll is part of the core Theocritus canon,
though scholars have doubted his authorship; some have suggested that the poem amalgamates what
were originally separate pieces.
The viii. Idillion.
Menalcas a Shephearde, and Daphnis a Netehearde, two Sicilian lads, contending who
should sing best, pawne their whistles, and choose a Gotehearde, to be their Iudge. Who
giueth sentence on Daphnis
This is a companion to Pastoral poetry of the English Renaissance: an anthology (2016), supporting the earlier volume with a range of critical and textual material. The book-length Introduction traces the course of pastoral from antiquity to the present day. The historical account is woven into a thematic map of the richly varied pastoral mode. Pastoral is linked to its social context, in terms of not only direct allusion but its deeper origins and affinities. English Renaissance pastoral is set in this total perspective. Besides the formal eclogue, the study covers many genres: lyric, epode, georgic, country-house poem, ballad, romantic epic, drama, prose romance. Major practitioners like Theocritus, Virgil, Sidney, Spenser, Drayton and Milton are individually discussed. The Introduction also charts the many means by which pastoral texts circulated in that age, with implications for the history and reception of all Early Modern poetry. All poems in the Anthology were edited from the original manuscripts and early printed texts. The Textual Notes in the present volume comprehensively document the sources and variant readings. There are also notes on the poets, and analytical indices of themes, genres, and various categories of proper names.
legislation also militated against the likelihood of the
settlers’ doing so in anything other than functional terms –
initially at least. In displaying near-total indifference to the
competing claims of existing indigenous communities, the legislation
also ensured that the pioneers’ environmental difficulties were
likely to be compounded by potentially hostile Aborigine encounters.
Thus the pastoral places
PASTORAL, LANDSCAPE, PLACE . . .
Definitions of pastoral?
Can ‘pastoral’ as both a super-rarefied genre-form and a historical political vehicle – of a problematic variety – have any relevance in the age of
factory farming, consciousness of land destruction, cloning, genetic
modification, pesticides, herbicides, the citification of the rural, and
the de-landing and disenfranchisement of indigenous communities
(nomadic, agrarian, civic, urban, etc.)? Traditionally, pastoral worked as
a vehicle of empowerment for the educated classes through the idyllicising and
Symphonic pastorals redux
Aaron S. Allen
Ecocriticism began as an endeavour rooted in text. Ecomusicology
extends it to the realm of sound. For musicology, the genre or idea
of the symphony is laden with prestige; for ecocriticism, the pastoral
has similar stature and is a genre or mode central to the discipline.
In the concise juxtaposition of these two terms, I illustrate ecomusicology, which connects ecocritical and musicological scholarship, and
further outline a brief critical history of selected symphonies in relation to the pastoral. I argue that
Uncivilised topographies in Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights
Picturesque, pastoral and dirty:
uncivilised topographies in Jane Eyre
and Wuthering Heights
An agitated young man stands dejectedly in a dark, dilapidated and unkempt
room before throwing himself to the floor and banging his head repeatedly on
the ground in apparent frustration and suffering. At this point a dissolve suggests a flashback and the camera, hand-held and set at a low angle, forms its own
pathway through coarse upland grasses to reveal a gloomy and bleak moorland
setting. Two dimly lit figures, one hooded and both with faces in
Pastoral is one of the few literary modes whose genesis can be clearly traced. While
poems reworking pristine rustic experience might have existed earlier, the pastoral
mode as now recognized originated with the Greek poet Theocritus in the third
century BCE. More correctly put, Theocritus provided a model that others followed
to create the mode.
There were few ‘others’ in Hellenistic Greece. A handful of poems, only one or
two authentically pastoral, have been ascribed (often doubtfully) to two poets, Bion
and Moschus. Of Theocritus’ own thirty
Utopian dreams and rituals of purification in the ‘American Trilogy’
History and the anti-pastoral:
Utopian dreams and rituals of
purification in the ‘American Trilogy’
And then the loss of the daughter [. . .] blasting to smithereens his
particular form of utopian thinking, the plague America infiltrating the
Swede’s castle and there infecting everyone . . . transport[ing] him out of
the longed-for American pastoral and into [. . .] the counterpastoral – into
the indigenous American berserk. (Roth 1997: 85–6)
‘Ira called his utopian dream Communism, Eve called hers Sylphid. The
parent’s utopia of the perfect child, the actress
In 1653, Margaret Cavendish wrote ‘A Description of Shepherds and
The Shepherdesses which great Flocks doe keep,
Are dabl’d high with dew, following their Sheep,
Milking their Ewes, their hands doe dirty make;
For being wet, dirt from their Duggs doe take.
Their lovers cut ‘some holes in straw’ to play tunes to their Joan,
And not as Poets faine, in Sonnets, Rhimes,
Making great Kings and Princes Pastures keep,
And beauteous Ladies driving flocks of sheep … (#256.1–4,
Cavendish is satirizing a literary tradition