Nature and Environmental Book Reviews

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Articles on Nature Writing: Classic

American Nature Writing Before Walden

The European discovery of the New World loosed a torrent of wondering description of its natural riches. Early explorers eagerly mapped, sketched, collected animal and plant specimens and followed every river to its source - or to the sea.

These explorers and early naturalists published their reports, often profusely illustrated with drawings, engravings and maps . . . learn more»

Henry David Thoreau: Progenitor of American Nature Writing

Henry David Thoreau can fairly be said to be the progenitor of American nature writing. Walden, his masterpiece of contemplative observation of nature and himself, is a classic of American literature.

Thoreau blended keen observation of nature, an inquiring mind, a willingness to examine himself and his fellows, an insistence on independence and self-reliance . . . learn more»

19th Century American Nature Writing

The last half of the nineteenth century brought the culmination of the great expeditions of exploration into the unmapped West. Many intrepid travelers returned from the Rocky Mountains, California and the West coast, and the great American deserts with interesting descriptions of the flora and fauna they observed.

John Burroughs and John Muir attracted wide readership for their popular books on nature as the American public . . . learn more»

American Nature Writing Has Flourished Since 1900

Since 1900 American nature writing has flourished, encompassing natural history, travel narratives, nature essays, "rambles," wilderness adventuring, sea voyaging, poetry, fiction, calls to environmental action and many more sub-genres.

It's as if all the best writers and naturalists fanned out and went from the outer shores of Cape Cod to the reefs of the Hawaiian Islands, from Denali to . . . learn more»


Articles on Nature Writing: Anthologies

Nature Writing Anthologies: Start Here!

Anthologies may be the best way to get an introduction to nature writing – you’re benefitting from the editors’ selection of material they judge to be the finest writing on the particular theme represented by the anthology or collection you’re reading.

And there’s a world of great ones to choose from!  Library of America is releasing, on Earth Day 2008, its new collection . . . learn more»


Articles on Nature Writing: Ecocriticism

Ecocriticism: Nature and Literature

Ecocriticism is the study of the relationship between literature and the natural environment. The publication of two seminal works in 1996 formally launched the field of ecocriticism – The Ecocriticism Reader, edited by Glotfelty and Fromm; and The Environmental Imagination, by Buell.

In their introduction to The Ecocriticism Reader, Glotfelty and Fromm describe the ecocritical approach: “. . . learn more»


Articles on Nature Writing: How to Write About Nature

Explore Writing About Nature

How do you put into words what you experience in nature – what you learn from nature?

Nature confronts us with the web of Life of which we are both participants and observers. The best nature writing weaves communal meaning from the elements of this shared experience . . . learn more»


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