Contribution to Books
Since the study of Romanticism is generally divided into European, British and American tracks, transatlantic connections are often obscured, resulting in what Richard Gravil calls 'the existence of a lost continent of literary exchange that our artificially divided academic community has . yet to recognize and explore' .1 This 'lost continent' is now being charted with a host of new critical approaches, including the emerging subfield of 'transatlantic ecologies' that attempts to investigate, in the words of Kevin Hutchings and John Miller, 'the key ways in which Western environmental discourses and associated literary practices .were forged in the crucible of transatlantic cultural history during the long nineteenth century'.2 A salient example of an ecological link between Romanticisms is the relationship between the British Romantic Samuel Taylor Coleridge and the American Transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson's extensive reading of Coleridge and his experiences during his pivotal voyages to England reveal that many of his ideas about nature - particularly his views on natural history - were formed, tested and reshaped in Atlantic transit in the temporal and geographical interstices of transatlantic Romanticism.
This work is part of the collection The Edinburgh Companion to Atlantic Literary Studies, edited by Leslie Eckel and Clare Elliott (Edinburgh University Press, 2016) https://edinburghuniversitypress.com/
Harvey, Samantha C.. (2016). "Reading the 'Book of Nature': Emerson, the Hunterian Museum And Transatlantic Science". The Edinburgh Companion to Atlantic Literary Studies, 325-339.