Made From This Earth: American Women and Nature / Edition 1

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Overview

The broad sweep of environmental and ecological history has until now been written and understood in predominantly male terms. In Made From This Earth, Vera Norwood explores the relationship of women to the natural environment through the work of writers, illustrators, landscape and garden designers, ornithologists, botanists, biologists, and conservationists.

Norwood begins by showing that the study and promotion of botany was an activity deemed appropriate for women in the early 1800s. After highlighting the work of nineteenth-century scientific illustrators and garden designers, she focuses on nature's advocates such as Rachel Carson and Dian Fossey who differed strongly with men on both women's "nature" and the value of the natural world. These women challenged the dominant, male-controlled ideologies, often framing their critique with reference to values arising from the female experience. Norwood concludes with an analysis of the utopian solutions posed by ecofeminists, the most recent group of women to contest men over the meaning and value of nature.

According to the author, the broad sweep of environmental and ecological history has until now been written and understood in predominantly male terms. Here Norwood seeks to reclaim the contribution American women have made to the study of nature from the early 19th century to the present. 55 illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
A wide-ranging and ambitious book. . . . Dense with fact and discursive in approach.

Natural History

A very important contribution to the information available about 'women's place' in the history of our country.

Bloomsbury Review

Norwood has made a significant contribution to the women's ecology movement.

Belles Lettres

An inventive and wide-ranging work.

Journal of American History

A valuable and thoroughly interesting exploration of the relationship of women to the natural environment.

Nineteenth-Century Literature

From the Publisher

A wide-ranging and ambitious book. . . . Dense with fact and discursive in approach.

Natural History

A very important contribution to the information available about 'women's place' in the history of our country.

Bloomsbury Review

Norwood has made a significant contribution to the women's ecology movement.

Belles Lettres

An inventive and wide-ranging work.

Journal of American History

A valuable and thoroughly interesting exploration of the relationship of women to the natural environment.

Nineteenth-Century Literature

Library Journal
In this thoroughly researched and readable book, Norwood, an associate professor of American studies, interprets the contributions of American women to nature study and environmental protection as exemplars of a gender-based ethical relationship to the natural world. Surveying the 19th century, her early chapters pay tribute to the neglected nature essays of Susan Fenimore Cooper and the unrecognized accomplishments of women in their fields of scientific illustration and landscape design. The pivotal chapter on Rachel Carson presents her ecological understanding as the culmination of the domestic theme of nature. Later chapters explore the wildlife careers of women ethologists and the portrayal of nature by women novelists. Norwood concludes with an examination of the current eco-feminist movement. Recommended for women's studies and environmental collections.-- Joan Elbers, Montgomery Coll., Rockville, MD.
Booknews
Seeking to reclaim the contribution American women have made to the study of nature from the early 19th century to the present, Norwood explores the relationship of women to the natural environment through the work of writers, illustrators, landscape and garden designers, ornithologists, botanists, biologists, and conservationlists. Paper edition (unseen), $17.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807843963
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 3/5/1993
  • Series: Gender and American Culture Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 392
  • Product dimensions: 6.19 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 1.17 (d)

Meet the Author

Vera Norwood, professor of American studies at the University of New Mexico, is coeditor of The Desert Is No Lady: Southwestern Landscapes in Women's Writing and Art.

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 Sources for American Women's Nature Study: The English Tradition, Sentimental Flower Books, and Botany 1
2 Pleasures of the Country Life: Susan Fenimore Comer and the Seasonal Tradition 25
3 The Illustrators: Women's Drawings of Nature's Artifacts 54
4 Designing Nature: Gardeners and Their Gardens 98
5 Nature's Advocates: Rachel Carson and Her Colleagues 143
6 Writing Animal Presence: Nature in Euro-American, African American, and American Indian Fiction 172
7 Women and Wildlife 209
8 "She Unnames Them": The Utopian Vision of Ecological Feminism 261
Notes 285
Bibliography 333
Index 359
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