The Poetry of Place: Lyric, Landscape, and Ideology in Renaissance France

The Poetry of Place: Lyric, Landscape, and Ideology in Renaissance France

by Louisa MacKenzie


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The sixteenth century in France was marked by religious warfare and shifting political and physical landscapes. Between 1549 and 1584, however, the Pléiade poets, including Pierre de Ronsard, Joachim Du Bellay, Rémy Belleau, and Antoine de Baïf, produced some of the most abiding and irenic depictions of rural French landscapes ever written. In The Poetry of Place, Louisa Mackenzie reveals and analyzes the cultural history of French paysage through her study of lyric poetry and its connections with landscape painting, cartography, and land use history.

In the face of destructive environmental change, lyric poets in Renaissance France often wrote about idealized physical spaces, reclaiming the altered landscape to counteract the violence and loss of the period and creating in the process what Mackenzie, following David Harvey, terms 'spaces of hope.' This unique alliance of French Renaissance studies with cultural geography and eco-criticism demonstrates that sixteenth-century poetry created a powerful sense of place which continues to inform national and regional sentiment today.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442642393
Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Publication date: 03/09/2011
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Louisa Mackenzie is an assistant professor in the Department of French and Italian at the University of Washington.

Table of Contents


  1. Place and Poetry:
    An Overview
  2. The Poet and the Mapmaker:
    Lyric and Cartographic Images of France
  3. The Poet, the Nation, and the Region:
    Constructing Anjou and France
  4. The Poet and the Painter:
    Problems of Representation
  5. The Poet and the Environment:
    Naturalizing Conservative Nostalgia
  6. The Poet and the Bower:
    Escaping History




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