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Introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 February 2021

Michael Boyden
Affiliation:
Uppsala Universitet, Sweden
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Summary

The first topic was a typical staple of eighteenth-century thought, and an opportunity for paying homage to a premise that Arthur O. Lovejoy described as “one of the most curious monuments of human imbecility” – namely, the idea that the earth was created for “Man.” As Lovejoy detailed in his classical study The Great Chain of Being, this essentially static or closed scheme of creation would eventually collapse under its own weight and be displaced by an open, temporalized model of the universe. Bond’s approach to the topic was fairly standard, with the occasional learned allusion to Pope’s Essay on Man and reflections on humanity’s middling place in Creation between the angels and the brute animal. These gestures of mock humility allowed Bond to restate the Society’s founding mission “to increase the Power of Man over Matter, and multiply the Conveniencies or Pleasures of Life” by conducting “useful” experiments, mapping, charting, draining, and “improving” the new country, still largely unexplored, and waiting to be claimed and transformed.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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  • Introduction
  • Edited by Michael Boyden, Uppsala Universitet, Sweden
  • Book: Climate and American Literature
  • Online publication: 18 February 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108669573.001
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  • Introduction
  • Edited by Michael Boyden, Uppsala Universitet, Sweden
  • Book: Climate and American Literature
  • Online publication: 18 February 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108669573.001
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Introduction
  • Edited by Michael Boyden, Uppsala Universitet, Sweden
  • Book: Climate and American Literature
  • Online publication: 18 February 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108669573.001
Available formats
×