Birds in Eighteenth-Century Literature: Reason, Emotion, and Ornithology, 1700-1840 is a collection of fourteen original essays by leading literary scholars from Canada, Ireland, the UK, and the USA.
It addresses the topic of the eighteenth-century bird in literature by examining literary representations of birds from across the world in an age of expanding European colonialism. It offers important new perspectives into the ways birds populate and generate cultural meaning in a variety of literary and non-literary genres from 1700-1840 as well as throughout a broad range of ecosystems and bioregions, including the British Isles, North America, and the Pacific.
The book considers a wide range of authors, including some of the most celebrated figures in eighteenth-century literature such as John Gay, Henry Fielding, Laurence Sterne, Anna Letitia Barbauld, William Cowper, Mary Wollstonecraft, Thomas Bewick, Charlotte Smith, William Wordsworth, and Gilbert White.
Full table of contents
Brycchan Carey, Sayre Greenfield, and Anne Milne
2. Avian Encounters and Moral Sentiment in Poetry from Eighteenth-Century Ireland
3. Ortolans, Partridges, and Pullets: Birds as Prey in Henry Fielding's Tom Jones
4. 'In Clouds Unnumber'd': Anna Letitia Barbauld's 'Birds and Insects', Speculative Ecology, and the Politics of Naturalism
D. T. Walker
5. Charlotte Smith and the Nightingale
6. The Labouring-Class Bird
Nancy M. Derbyshire
7. The Language of Birds and the Language of Real Men: Wordsworth, Coleridge and the 'Best Part' of Language
8. 'No Parrot, Either in Morality or Sentiment': Talking Birds and Mechanical Copying in the Age of Sensibility
9. Placing Birds in Place: Reading Habitat in Beilby's and Bewick's History of British Birds
10. The Literary Gilbert White
11. When Poet Meets Penguin: British Verse Confronts Exotic Avifauna
12. Bird Metaphors in Racialised Ethnographic Description, c. 1700-1800
George T. Newberry
13. 'The Incomparable Curiosity of Every Feather!': Cotton Mather's Birds
14. The Passenger Pigeon and the New World Myth of Plenitude
Kevin Joel Berland