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Bestial Oblivion : War, Humanism, and Ecology in Early Modern England (Hardcover) (Benjamin Bertram)

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Although war is a heterogeneous assemblage of the human and nonhuman, it nevertheless builds the illusion of human autonomy and singularity. Focusing on war and ecology, a neglected topic in early modern ecocriticism, Bestial Oblivion: War, Humanism, and Ecology in Early Modern England shows how early modern warfare unsettled ideas of the human yet ultimately contributed to, and was then perpetuated by, anthropocentrism. Examining the connections among environmental history, war, and humanism, Bertram places particular emphasis on the Anglo-Spanish War, the Wars of Religion, the colonization of Ireland, Jacobean "peace," and the fifteenth-century rebellions that shaped national identity in Tudor England. The monograph juxtaposes a wide range of texts—essays, drama, military treatises, chronicle histories, paintings, engravings, war reports, travel narratives—and authors—Erasmus, Machiavelli, Digges, Shakespeare, Marlowe, Coryate, Bacon—in order to show how an intricate web of "perpetual war" emerged in the Elizabethan period that altered the perception of the physical environment as well as ideas of the human.


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