Call for Chapters – Romantic Trees: The Literary Arboretum, 1740-1840

By Rosie Whitcombe

Edited by Anna Burton and Amanda Blake Davis (University of Derby)

Collection Prospectus:

Romantic Trees: The Literary Arboretum, 1740-1840 will explore literary responses to a range of individual trees and tree species and the network of international contexts within which they were viewed. The Romantic-period focus of this edited collection will culminate in 1840 with the opening of the first public arboretum, Derby Arboretum. The arboretum, though a man-made space that groups trees formally, is also an environment in which more can be understood about the biodiversity and individuality of all trees on an interconnected, global scale. Grounded in the literature of the Romantic period, this project proposes that the ‘arboretum’, a term coined by John Claudius Loudon in 1838, is implicit within Romantic writers’ interest in specific trees. Rather than concentrating on an author-specific and/or particular thematic approach, our ‘arboretum’ will form a collection of essays, each one focusing on the significance and cultural history of a particular tree species, during this period.

Whilst the Romantic ideation of ‘Nature’ is a heavily traversed, broad-ranging topic, the arboreal lens of The Literary Arboretum will offer a new way of thinking about Romanticism and nature specifically through literary responses to trees in literature of …read more