Routledge – 1999 – 208 pages
Series: The New Critical Idiom
Pastoral is a succinct and up-to-date introductory text to the history, major writers and critical issues of this genre. Terry Gifford clarifies the different uses of pastoral covering:
* the history of the genre from its classical origins to Elizabethan drama, through eighteenth-century pastoral poetry to contemporary American nature writing
* the pastoral impulse of retreat and return, beginning with constructions of Arcadia and using a combination of close reading of quoted texts, cultural studies and eco-criticism
* post-pastoral texts with a look at writers, who Gifford argues, have discovered ways of reconnecting us with our natural environment.
'It is time to evaluate the works of literature and the environment using Gifford's powerful terms.' - Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment
'A helpful guide to achieving some clarity around the terminology and the issues, and to formulating one's own response to the 'pastoral' in literature a good introduction to an important subject.' - Debjani Chatterjee, Writing in Education
'A good introduction to the contentious nature of the ideology of pastoral.' - Mr Salter, Huntingdonshire Regional College
'an innovative, vividly argued introduction to 'pastoral'' - Nicholas D. Smith, Essays in Criticism
Terry Gifford is Research Co-ordinator at the School of English, Bretton Hall College of Leeds University. He is author of Green Voices: Understanding Contemporary Nature Poetry.