"This fascinating collection of highly readable essays literally opens new vistas on the medieval landscape. Readers who imagine a primordial, unspoiled landscape will be surprised to discover that the medieval landscape was an artifact that medieval men and women managed, created, and imagined in creative ways over and over again."--John J. Contreni, Purdue University
"A real contribution to what we know about the relations between nature and culture, intersecting in landscapes. . . . I know of no other single volume that offers such a wide array of approaches and perspectives on the topic. A pleasurable volume to read."--William H. TeBrake, University of Maine
Far from the forest primeval of popular imagination, the historians and literary scholars in this book describe a Western European landscape just as consciously constructed by its inhabitants as any modern landscape--physically, conceptually, and spiritually. All appearing for the first time in print, their essays provide a wealth of detail on this "deep ecology" of the Middle Ages and a better understanding of the creativity and skill of our cultural ancestors.
Introduction, by John Howe and Michael Wolfe
Part One: Managed Landscapes
1. The Medieval Countryside of England: Botany and Archaeology, by Oliver Rackham
2. Veneurs s'en vont en Paradis: Medieval Hunting and the "Natural" Landscape, by John Cummins
3. New Habitats for the Rabbit in Northern Europe, 1300-1600, by Petra J.E.M. van Dam
4. Politics, Perception, and the Meaning of Landscape in Late Medieval Venice: Marco Cornaro's 1442 Inspection of Firewood Supplies, by Karl Appuhn
Part Two: Created Landscapes
5. The Landscape of Anglo-Saxon England: Inherited, Invented, Imagined, by Nicholas Howe
6. Tribal Landscapes of Islamic Spain: History and Archaeology, by Thomas Glick
7. From Alien Terrain to the Abode of Islam: Landscapes in the Conquest of al-Andalus, by Janina Safran
8. Private Pleasures: Painted Gardens on the Manuscript Page, by Bridget Ann Henisch
Part Three: Imagined Landscapes
9. Landscape, Gender, and Ethnogenesis in Pre-Norman Invasion Ireland, by Lisa Bitel
10. Narrative Time and Literary Landscapes in Middle English Poetry, by Laura L. Howes
11. Creating Symbolic Landscapes: Medieval Development of Sacred Space, by John Howe
John Howe is professor of history at Texas Tech University.
Michael Wolfe is professor of history and head of the Division of Arts and Humanities at Pennsylvania State University, Altoona College.
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"Is amazingly rich"
"Effectively demonstrates how interdisciplinary medieval studies can significantly reshape our views and open up intriguing new avenues for research." ; "May likely become a foundational text in medievalist ecocriticism."
"The book is innovative in its broad approach to medieval landscapes, and will provide interesting case studies for an academic public, including graduate students and scholars." Nora Berend, U. of Cambridge