Landscape and Nation in
Eighteenth-Century Britain

Lisa M. Zeitz
University of Western Ontario


In Landscape and Power (1994), W. J. T. Mitchell urges his readers to think of landscape not as an object to be been, "but as a process by which social and subjective identities are formed" (1); landscape, he writes, must be understood as a physical and "multisensory" medium "in which cultural meanings and values are encoded, whether they are put there by the physical transformation of a place in landscape gardening and architecture, or found in a place formed, as we say, 'by nature'" (14). The senior undergraduate seminar course that I describe here-first offered at the University of Western Ontario in 1998-99-approaches landscape as a product of culture and allows students to examine some of the ways in which both national and individual (social and personal) identities are culturally constructed through representations of land. Although focused solely on late 17th- and 18th-century materials (primarily literary texts supplemented with slides and video of 18th-century landscape gardens, landscape paintings, and reproductions of period maps), this course seeks to encourage students to read all sorts of landscapes, environments, and spaces-material, literary, and visual-critically. Its also attempts: (1) to teach students about the ways in which nature has been used historically (and continues to be used) to represent ideas of nation and national identity; (2) to cultivate students' understanding of some of the major artistic forms in which landscape is central-travel literature, topographical poetry, painting, gardens, and the Gothic novel; and (3) to encourage students to think carefully about how perception works, and how ways of seeing are informed at every level by the cultural lenses through which we all look.

That landscape is a "cultural image" and "a textual system" is now an axiomatic position in the fields of cultural geography, garden history, and landscape aesthetics. As Denis Cosgrove and Stephen Daniels have remarked in The Iconography of Landscape (1988), "a landscape park is more palpable but no more real, nor less imaginary than a landscape painting or poem" (1). The eighteenth century, as a period of study, offers us an extraordinarily rich variety of historical landscapes and is thus perfectly suited to the application of new methods of reading space that are truly interdisciplinary.

We take as our starting point Simon Schama's comment in Landscape and Memory (1995) that "landscapes are culture before they are nature - constructs of the imagination projected onto wood and water and rock" (61). Schama's book is a required text, and the course reading is structured around those three components of "wood," "water," and "rock." While such a structure is necessarily artificial (what pedagogical structure is not? ... one might argue that at least this one advertises its artifice), it works remarkably well for a number of reasons: first, it is memorable; second, it empowers students by providing them with (a) a manageable way to think about the elements of landscape and (b) a series of examples which operate as touchstones throughout the course; finally, it is endlessly applicable and adaptable. One may use this structure in a course that is predominantly historical, or art historical, or geographical, or literary. The divisions or modules (none of which can be discrete in practice, of course) and the principal texts are organized as follows: the first week of the course is devoted to the idea that landscapes can be "decoded" and "deciphered" as textual systems; then, roughly 2 to 2½ weeks is spent on each of water, wood, and rock; finally, 5 weeks is given over to the combined force of all three. Under the general heading of "Water" we discuss selections from Defoe's Tour through the Whole Island of Great Britain (with its extraordinary panegyrics celebrating the Thames and trade), and poems by Collins ("Ode Occasion'd by the Death of Mr. Thomson") and Wordsworth ("Lines Written near Richmond, Upon the Thames, at Evening"); both poems use the river as a symbol of time and as an emblem of the continuity of a national poetic tradition stretching back to the Druids. Under the heading of "Wood" we read topographical poetry (Dyer's "Grongar Hill," Denham's "Cooper's Hill," and Pope's "Windsor Forest"); we discuss the "prospect view"; and we spend one class considering cartography (which fits well with notions of surveying and topography). Under the heading of "Rock" we read selections focusing on the sublime from Burke's Enquiry; we look at what might be called the "industrial sublime" in the paintings of Joseph Wright of Derby; and we read Radcliffe's Gothic novel The Romance of the Forest. Finally, constituting the five weeks arbitrarily consigned
to the category of "all of the above," are two weeks on "redesigning Arcadia" (a unit on gardens and "national styles" that focuses on the English landscape garden and includes a detailed consideration of Stowe as a garden of empire [slides, video, and a superb website are prominent features of this unit]); one week on landscape painting (Constable, primarily, but also Gainsborough) during which we tackle the issue of the inclusion (or exclusion) of the laborers who produce the agricultural scene (just whose landscape is this, anyway?); and two weeks on some late 18th-century poetry including Goldsmith's "The Deserted Village" (with its politics of nostalgia, its controversial description of the human costs of the enclosure movement, and its representation of a lost, pastoral English Eden), and Book 3 of Cowper's "The Task" (with its criticism of landscape gardening as an "unnatural" form of commerce and wealth creation, and its relocation of paradise to the domestic, personal sphere). Both of these poems provoke discussion of the extent to which we may speak of a "mental topography" and an "internalized landscape."

The Groundwork

The first three weeks of this thirteen-week course are used to lay the groundwork for everything that follows. No student seminars are scheduled until the fourth week, by which time the class feels reasonably comfortable with the major themes and approaches of the course, having seen the instructor and the seminar group as a whole think about landscape in general, and Defoe's Tour in particular. We linger over the introduction to Schama's Landscape and Memory which provides (in less than 20 pages) ideas and images that we spend the rest of the semester thinking about. Rene Magritte's "La Condition humaine" (1933), which appears in a color, full-page reproduction in Landscape and Memory, initiates our discussion. This painting, which is a critique of mimetic representation, allows students to fully engage issues of perception and framing, and to consider the extent to which culture acts as a frame for all perceptual activity. The more they talk about this painting of a landscape painting that is placed on an easel in front of a window (the scene outside of which it appears to mirror), the more they begin to appreciate the complexities and challenges that lie ahead.

What I try to impress upon my students very early on is the idea that every landscape is constructed, and itself constructs an identity, whether it is peopled or not. For even if the landscape is "empty," there is someone there. Who? The observer, the perceiver. Where is the observer positioned? Why? Where are the figures in the landscape positioned? What is the effect? How do positions of elevation (or the opposite) function? What about light and shadow? What about observer and observed? All of these questions address, to some degree, the issue of the location of power. Schama writes about the Thames as a "power line" of time and space, at once a national and an imperial symbol. I ask my students what the Canadian equivalent is (tellingly, most find that the first North American river that springs to mind is Mark Twain's Mississippi). Eventually, the St. Lawrence emerges; but mine has really been a trick question, for if one wants a "line of time and space" that may symbolically represent the nation (in the way that the River Thames may symbolize England), there are two principal lines, both established in the nineteenth century: one is the 49th parallel, "the border" that demarcates Canada as "North" and "other" than the republic to the south, and the other is the line of the railroad that connects East to West (or, at least, used to until service was cut by the Prime Minister who introduced the North American Free Trade Agreement; service has since been partially restored after a national outcry). Nations, directions, landscapes, borders, trade. The students discover that they already "know" about these things- that, in fact, they live every day of their lives within these frames. And so, too, did the men and women of eighteenth-century Britain.

The readability and (frankly) transparency of Defoe's Tour make it ideal as a first text. We begin by discussing the ways in which nations are "imagined communities" (Benedict Anderson's term), and students are reminded that Great Britain was created in 1707 (making Defoe's work a kind of literary "Birth of a Nation"). It is the very "inventedness" of national identity that renders it (at times) unstable; Defoe's Whig landscape is not Goldsmith's Tory one, and Defoe's Britain often seems more "English" than "British." But, as Linda Colley's brilliant study Britons: Forging the Nation 1707-1837 (1992) argues, British national identity was invented during this period largely "in reaction to the Other beyond [British] shores" (5), and not by blending cultures (English, Welsh, Scottish) but by "superimpos[ing]" Britishness over "an array of internal differences" (6). Of course, the ways in which Britishness is so often manifested as anti-Gallic ("not French") and the idea of national identity coexisting with internal differences and strong regional cultures hold particular interest to Canadians.

A Tour through the Whole Island of Great Britain (1724-26) emphasizes Protestantism, commerce, and a sense of national superiority; its metaphors are often those of natural growth and expansion, and its landscapes are landscapes of change. Selections from Defoe's work are read alongside Schama, so throughout the first three weeks students are applying the "big ideas" and a different model of reading to an early-eighteenth-century text. In our reading of A Tour we focus on water, especially rivers, and especially the Thames. Ideas of circulation and trade are foremost in our exploration, and we also examine Defoe's obsession with ports, harbors, and links to "the world" that at once emphasize Britain as an island nation and envision her (the "mother country") as the center of the world (these images and ideas are picked up later in the course when we read Pope's Windsor Forest, paying close attention to the imperial speech of Father Thames and the ideas of center and periphery). Playing a recording of "Rule Britannia" and examining the text by (Scot) James Thomson is another way to illustrate these seminal ideas: Britannia, commanded to "rule the waves" as "the dread and envy of all [other nations]," is made "more majestic" and "more dreadful from each foreign stroke," "As the loud blast that tears the skies, / Serves but to root thy native oak." I remind the students of Said's famous observation that empires must first be imagined before they are realized.

Mapping Ideas

We talk about maps during that first week, and I ask my students to think about what a map does. Well, among other things, we agree that it defines who you are, where you are, and to which group(s) you "belong." Later in the semester we look at eighteenth-century maps of London and of British North America; for his seminar, a fourth-year geography major brought in a photocopied reproduction (full-size) of Herman Moll's "New and Exact Map of the Dominion of the King of Great Britain on the Continent of North America" (1715). Having laid this large taped pastiche across the seminar table, he invited his colleagues to consider it, and so they did, seating themselves around the map and on the table (thereby confirming to me, through the politics of location, that by this time the course belonged to the students). Moll's map offers a wonderful example of cartographic language with its creation of both a social space and a territorial space, its inscriptions of hierarchy and power, and its endorsement of ideas of progress and industry (best seen in the illustration of Niagara Falls complete with beavers-who, judging by the dam-building success pictured, are clearly overachievers). While the beaver, the source of the profitability of the fur trade, symbolically represents the riches of the new world, the suppliers of the pelts (those to whom we now collectively refer as the "first nations") are not represented. As J.B. Harley's seminal work on the history of cartography has demonstrated, "cartographers manufacture power." Coats of arms, cartouches, the size and character of lettering, icons, and borders all contribute to the political and social meaning of maps, for cartography "maps" power relations and ideas of nationhood and empire as much as it records natural features. Clearly this "new" and "exact" representation of the King's Dominion depicts not so much a topography as an imperial ideology of expansion and commerce.

Among the leading ideas discussed throughout our thirteen weeks were the relationships between natural and national order; the ways in which topography may be used to "naturalize" political and social ideology (brilliantly visible in topographical poetry such as "Cooper's Hill"); the structuring of space (in verbal, visual, and material examples) into "prospects" with ideological implications; the ways in which travel books and the enterprise of domestic tourism contribute to the creation of a national myth; how the work of a painter like Constable may come to represent an ideal image of the nation (in the words of Stephen Daniels in Fields of Vision, "Constable country" "harness[ed] the twin virtues of nature and nation"); how strategies of inclusion or exclusion (whether in a poem, or a painting, or a map) raise issues of ownership, possession, and class; and how a landscape garden like Stowe was constructed to present an imperial vision of British history and destiny during a time of expansion (for a remarkable website that allows students to go on a virtual tour of Stowe so that they can fully appreciate how views and prospects are constructed to make political points, please see Appendix 1).

A nation defines itself by its landscapes. I have already described some of the ways in which images of water (rivers and oceans) convey ideas of the nation as a commercial power in Defoe's Tour. When the class was exploring the cultural significance of "wood," a student gave a seminar on Pope's "Windsor Forest" and the iconography of trees; connections were traced between the forest and the idea of liberty (what Schama calls the "Royalist romance" of the greenwood), and between tree-planting and patriotism, so important for the building of England's so-called "wooden walls," the hulls of both mercantile and naval fleets. Another seminar explored the ways in which the character of a nation is represented by the character of its timber in the common trope, "hearts of oak," especially prominent in discourse on the British navy and in patriotic song. On trees, Stephen Daniels' "The Political Iconography of Woodland in Later Georgian England" (in The Iconography of Landscape) is required reading. Even the seemingly disinterested language of aesthetics-the sublime and the picturesque-has a cultural function. A shared aesthetic vocabulary-in the case of the picturesque one which asserts the new power and centrality of the middle class-also helps to define, even redefine, the cultural life of a nation. I ask my students to consider the implications of the use of the familiar "Old World" language to describe the landscapes of colonies like Canada. Why, for example, does the description in the poem "Quebec Hill; or, Canadian Scenery" (published in 1797) sound exactly like the topographical poetry describing Cooper's Hill or Grongar Hill? The very language of description links center with conquered and colonized periphery. "If in the lives of colonial cultures," writes D. G. Jones, "as in the lives of little ducks and chickens there is a moment of imprinting, that moment for Canada is located in the latter half of the eighteenth century" (Glickman, ix).

Alternate Routes and Views

One of the advantages of the structure that I have borrowed from Simon Schama's work is its infinite adaptability. A course on landscape and nation may be structured to include different nations, a greater or lesser emphasis on travel literature, more or fewer representations of urban spaces or of rural environments (including landscape parks and the history of the enclosure movement), a greater or lesser interest in colonization and empire. Once students have been given a vocabulary, an awareness of the kinds of questions and issues that may be raised, and a sampling of literary, visual, and material "texts," they can approach any representation of landscape with a much greater awareness and selfconsciousness about the ways in which virtually all landscape is constructed-both by human labour and by human modes of perception. Among the familiar prose works that could easily be incorporated into a course on "landscape and nation"-or that could be taught by incorporating elements of the approach and ideas outlined here-are Robinson Crusoe, Gulliver's Travels, Mansfield Park, A Sentimental Journey, and excerpts from Tristram Shandy (Uncle Toby's military garden, for example). For an increased emphasis on poetry, some of the following suggestions might be implemented. For more of a "country house" emphasis, Pope's "Epistle to Burlington" and Mary Leapor's "Crumble-Hall" might be added and interestingly contrasted with Lady Irwin's "Castle Howard" (see Week 8 of the schedule). One might add to the unit on representations of labor (Week 9) the "matching pair" of "The Thresher's Labour" by Stephen Duck and "The Woman's Labour" by Mary Collier, thereby emphasizing issues of both class and gender. Rejecting the landscapes of the pastoral, Duck wrote, "No Fountains murmer here, no Lambkins play, / No Linets warble, and no Fields look gay"; reminding readers of the double jeopardy faced by women of the laboring class, Collier wrote, "For all our Pains, no Prospect can we see / Attend us, but Old Age and Poverty." For more of an emphasis on georgic poetry's role in representing the nation through landscape, excerpts from Thomson's Seasons would be the obvious choice. And for a self-conscious colonial "sequel" that both rewrites and revitalizes topographical conventions, one might follow Goldsmith's "Deserted Village" with the work of his Canadian-born grandnephew, also named Oliver Goldsmith, who was the author of "The Rising Village" (1825) with its invitation to "Come, turn with me where happier Prospects rise, / Beneath the sternness of our Western skies."

A greater prominence than is apparent in the schedule of readings might be given to the gendering of landscape and of nations. Why Britannia? Why America? A student seminar might be assigned that compares the function of river gods with that of naiads. One might also place more emphasis on the gendering of Nature as female in discourses about landscape gardening (Carole Fabricant's seminal essay in SECC [1979], "Binding and Dressing Nature's Loose Tresses: The Ideology of Augustan Landscape Design," would be an obvious choice to assign to undergraduates; also relevant are essays by James Turner [in SECC, 1982] and John Barrell [in Cultural Critique, 1989] on the place of Venus in landscape gardens). A garden like Stowe allows one to compare structures like the Queen's (or Lady's) Temple with the Temple of (male) Friendship (which it faces and with which it is directly linked); there are also many representations of Britannia at Stowe, and the Temple of British Worthies includes Elizabeth I. In order to explore the relationship between gender and landscape, one might discuss a poem like Finch's "A Nocturnal Reverie" (No prospect: why? Not light, but darkness; not public space, but private).

The course might also be re-structured as an examination of "travel literature" (landscape and nations); Defoe could be retained and other texts added. The list might include some of the following: Celia Fiennes' travel journal (which works very well paired with Defoe), Lady Mary Wortley Montagu's Turkish Embassy Letters, Johnson's and Boswell's accounts of Scotland, Smollett's Travels through France and Italy, Sterne's A Sentimental Journey, Wordsworth's Guide through the District of the Lakes, and William Bartram's Travels. I might also note that over half of Germaine Warkentin's 1993 Oxford anthology, Canadian Exploration Literature, is devoted to accounts written during the Restoration and 18th century. Those who are interested in reshaping the course with a larger component of travel literature may find some hints in a description of a senior seminar course I offered a few years ago; see "Eighteenth-Century Travel Literature: The Cultural Contexts of 'Discovery' " in The East-Central Intelligencer 8, No. 2 (May 1994): 21-25. Finally, although I have listed Tillotson's old anthology as a required text (because it is what most of our students purchase for the survey course and can therefore re-use), The Longman Anthology of British Literature would in many ways be a superior text (especially given that the "Restoration & Eighteenth Century" section is now available as an individual volume). Longman includes most of what we use from Tillotson, as well as a "Perspectives" selection on "Landscape, Pleasure, Power."

In The Production of Space (1974, trans. 1991) Henri Lefebvre writes that any "already produced space can be decoded, can be read." This course offered students opportunities to attempt to decode both past and present; in doing so, they gained an insight (they told me) into the ways in which their own social and cultural identities are formed by the history of the spaces they inhabit

Required Texts, Assignments & Evaluation, Policies


Defoe A Tour through the Whole Island of Great Britain (abridged) Penguin

Tillotson Eighteenth-Century English Literature Harcourt
(Most students will already have this anthology)

J. D. Hunt, ed. The Genius of the Place: The English Landscape Garden 1620-1820 MIT Press
(An anthology of primary texts)

Schama Landscape and Memory Random House

Radcliffe The Romance of the Forest Oxford


1. Each student will present two seminars, formal versions of which (6-8 typed pages maximum) should be submitted within one week of the date of the presentation. Each seminar/essay will be worth 30% of the final grade.
Value: 60% of the final grade.

2. An "open book" in-class essay will be written in Week 11.
Value: 20% of the final grade.

3. The quality of participation and contributions to the seminar will be evaluated. In order to achieve a "B" students must be well prepared for seminars, contribute to discussion, and show a sound grasp of texts. In order to achieve an "A" students must demonstrate an excellent level of preparation, contribute insightful and original comments in discussion, and show an outstanding grasp of texts and critical issues.
Value: 20% of the final grade.
N.B. There is no final examination.


Extensions of up to one week on written submissions ONLY will be granted when warranted. Failure to appear (or to send a surrogate presenter) on the scheduled date of your seminar will result in a grade of 0.


Students may miss three hours of classes without a penalty.


Week 1 Introduction
"Reading Landscapes"
Schama, Landscape and Memory: pp. 3-19

Week 2 "WATER"
Defoe's Tour: pp. 41-183
Schama, L and M: pp. 256-63, 282-89, 320-332

Week 3
Defoe's Tour: pp. 286-399; 429-447
Schama, L and M: pp. 352-374

Week 4
Collins, "Ode Occasion'd by the Death of Mr. Thomson" (ECEL, pp. 923-924)
Wordsworth, "Lines Written near Richmond, Upon the Thames, at Evening" (ECEL, pp.1530-1531)

Topographical and Georgic Poetry:
Denham, "Cooper's Hill" (ECEL, pp. 785-789)
Pope, "Windsor Forest" (ECEL, pp. 580-587)
Schama, L and M: pp. 135-141, 153-174

Seminar: Topography and the prospect view ( "Cooper's Hill")
Seminar: "Windsor Forest" and the iconography of trees

Pope, "Windsor Forest"

Seminar: "Windsor Forest" and imperialism

Week 6
Dyer, "Grongar Hill" (Pindaric and Octosyllabic Versions, ECEL, pp. 807-810)
Schama, L and M: pp. 411-435

Seminar: "Grongar Hill" and the poetry of place
Seminar: Comparing Versions of "Grongar Hill"
Seminar: Landscape, Cartography, and Power: Mapping and defining nations in the 18th Century

Redesigning Arcadia: Introduction to Gardens
Schama, L and M: pp. 517-545
Hunt, The Genius of the Place: pp.1-45

Seminar: Gardens and "national styles"

Selections from The Genius of the Place:
Bacon (GP, pp.51-56)
Evelyn (GP, pp.57-69)
Milton (GP, pp.79-81)
Temple (GP, pp.96-99)

Seminar: Gardens and Paradise

Stowe: A Garden of Empire (Slide show)

West, "Stowe" (GP, pp. 215-27)
Gilpin, "A Dialogue upon Stowe ..." (GP, pp. 254-59 and illustrations pp. 20 and 138)
Schama, L and M: pp. 333-352

Week 8
Stowe: A Garden of Empire (continued)

The English Landscape Garden: Emblematic vs. Expressive (VIDEO)
Switzer, Ichnographia Rustica (GP, pp. 151-158)
Lady Irwin, "Castle Howard" (GP, pp. 228-32)
The Picturesque after 1750:
Gilpin (GP, pp.337-41)
Knight (GP, pp.342-50)
Price (GP, pp.351-57)

Seminar: Theories of the Picturesque

Week 9 Labour and Landscape ("The Dark Side of the Landscape")

Seminar: "Constable Country"
Seminar: Turner's Landscapes
Seminar: Representing (or not) labour in landscapes

Week 10 Goldsmith, "The Deserted Village"

Week 11 Cowper, The Task, Book III: "The Garden" (ECEL, pp. 1316-1326)

Seminar: The inner landscapes of Cowper's Task

IN-CLASS ESSAY (2-hour "open book" test)

Week 12 "ROCK"
Schama, L and M: pp. 447-478
The Sublime: Selections from Burke's Enquiry (on reserve)
Gray, "The Bard" (text will be provided)

Seminar: Sublime Landscapes (Wright of Derby)

Week 13 Radcliffe, The Romance of the Forest

Seminar: Radcliffe's descriptions of landscape
Seminar: Reading the space of the Gothic
(A comparison of Radcliffe's techniques with Kubrick's in The Shining) (VIDEO clips)


Appleton, Jay. The Experience of Landscape. Revised ed. Chichester: Wiley, 1996.
Barrell, John. The Dark Side of the Landscape: The Rural Poor in English Painting, 1730-1840. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1980.
Bermingham, Ann. Landscape and Ideology: The English Rustic Tradition, 1740-1860. Berkeley: University of California
Press, 1986.
Burke, Edmund. A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful. World's Classics ed.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990.
Colley, Linda. Britons: Forging the Nation, 1707-1837. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992.
Cosgrove, Denis. Social Formation and Symbolic Landscape. With new introduction. Madison: University of Wisconsin
Press, 1998.
Cosgrove, Denis and Stephen Daniels, eds. The Iconography of Landscape: Essays on the Symbolic Representation,
Design, and Use of Past Environments
. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988.
Daniels, Stephen. Fields of Vision: Landscape Imagery and National Identity in England and the United States. Princeton:
Princeton University Press, 1993.
Defoe, Daniel. A Tour through the Whole Island of Great Britain (unabridged). London: Dent, 1974.
Glickman, Susan. The Picturesque and the Sublime: A Poetics of the Canadian Landscape. Montreal: McGill-Queen's
University Press, 1998.
Harley, J. B. "Maps, Knowledge and Power" in The Iconography of Landscape, ed. Cosgrove and Daniels.
Harley, J. B. "Power and Legitimation in the English Geographical Atlases of the Eighteenth Century" in Images of the
World: The Atlas Through History
, ed. John A. Wolter and Ronald E. Grim. Washington: Library of Congress,
Helgerson, Richard. Forms of Nationhood: The Elizabethan Writing of England. Chicago: University of Chicago Press,
Hunt, John Dixon. The Figure in the Landscape: Poetry, Painting, and Gardening during the Eighteenth Century.
Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976.
Hunt, John Dixon, ed. The Genius of the Place: The English Landscape Garden 1620-1820. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1988.
[An anthology of primary texts]
Jacques, David. Georgian Gardens: The Reign of Nature. London: B.T. Batsford, 1983.
Meinig, D. W., ed. The Interpretation of Ordinary Landscapes: Geographical Essays. New York: Oxford University Press,
1979. See especially "The Beholding Eye: Ten Versions of the Same Scene".
Mitchell, W.J.T., ed. Landscape and Power. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994.
Mukerji, Chandra. Territorial Ambitions and the Gardens of Versailles. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.
Pugh, Simon. Garden-Nature-Language. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1988.
Pugh, Simon, ed. Reading Landscape: Country - City - Capital. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1990.
Roskill, Mark. The Languages of Landscape. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997.
Schama, Simon. Landscape and Memory. New York: Knopf, 1996.
Turner, James. The Politics of Landscape: Rural Scenery and Society in English Poetry, 1630-1660. Oxford: Blackwell,
Wall, Cynthia. The Literary and Cultural Spaces of Restoration London. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.
Weinbrot, Howard D. Britannia's Issue: The Rise of British Literature from Dryden to Ossian. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1993.
Williamson, Tom. Polite Landscapes: Gardens and Society in Eighteenth-Century England. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins
University Press, 1995.

Appendix 1

Professor John Tatter's remarkable "Stowe Landscape Gardens" website,, offers an interactive virtual walking tour complete with photographs, maps, and links to Michael Bevington's essential guide, Stowe: The Garden and the Park (1996). One can tour the garden by character areas or by buildings and monuments. Using a map marked by scores of red arrows, the "walker" may experience views to and views from buildings, fully appreciating how location, position, and the relationships between buildings contribute to the meaning of is seen. By taking a virtual tour, students can discover for themselves how the English landscape garden creates an experience of movement through a gallery of living landscape paintings with framed views. Students might be assigned a character area or a group of buildings and asked to write a report on how the garden elements work together or how views function; in looking at framed views, students need to be encouraged to respond imaginatively. Which direction should we walk in? Why? Which are the most interesting views? Why? How did eighteenth-century tourists approach the route? How does our postmodern experience oflandscape compare with eighteenth-century accounts of visits to Stowe? This last question may be tackled by consulting William Gilpin's "Dialogue upon the Gardens at Stow[e]" (1748), which is available in its entirety (and includes pop-up windows showing garden features, the sources of most of which are contemporary guidebook illustrations or prints) under the "Poetry and Prose" link on the site. As of the time of writing, "a series of virtual reality panoramas of specific areas of the gardens" was under development; these, Tatter writes, will allow "the virtual visitor to 'stand' in a particular spot and 'look around' by using his or her mouse to control the direction of view." I encourage anyone intrigued by the garden materials on this course to visit this website; I know of no more fascinating or exciting website for classroom use than this one.


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