In this comprehensive study of the genre, Don Scheese traces its evolution from the pastoralism evident in the natural history observations of Aristotle and the poetry of Virgil to current American writers. He documents the emergence of the modern form of nature writing as a reaction to industrialization. Scheese's personal observations of natural settings sharpen the reader's understanding of the dynamics between author and locale. His study is further informed by ample use of illustrations and close readings of core writers such as Thoreau, John Muir, and Mary Austin showing how each writer's work exemplifies the pastoral tradition and celebrates a 'spirit of place' in the United States.
Don Scheese is an associate professor of English and Enviromental studies at Gustavus Aldolphus College in St. Peter Minnesota. He has lectured and published extensively on the works of nature writers and on literature an the enviroment.