Books+ Search Results

Imperfect creatures : vermin, literature, and the sciences of life, 1600-1740

Title
Imperfect creatures : vermin, literature, and the sciences of life, 1600-1740 / Lucinda Cole.
ISBN
9780472121557
0472121553
9780472900633
0472900633
9780472052950
9780472072958
0472072951
0472052950
Publication
Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, [2016]
Physical Description
1 online resource (240 pages)
Local Notes
Access is available to the Yale community.
Notes
English.
Access and use
Access restricted by licensing agreement.
Summary
"Lucinda Cole's Imperfect Creatures offers the first full-length study of the shifting, unstable, but foundational status of "vermin" as creatures and category in the early modern literary, scientific, and political imagination. In the space between theology and an emergent empiricism, Cole's argument engages a wide historical swath of canonical early modern literary texts--William Shakespeare's Macbeth, Christopher Marlowe's The Jew of Malta, Abraham Cowley's The Plagues of Egypt, Thomas Shadwell's The Virtuoso, Rochester's "A Ramble in St. James's Park," and Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe and Journal of the Plague Year--alongside other nonliterary primary sources and under-examined archival materials from the period, including treatises on animal trials, grain shortages, rabies, and comparative neuroanatomy. As Cole illustrates, human health and demographic problems--notably those of feeding populations periodically stricken by hunger, disease, and famine--were tied to larger questions about food supplies, property laws, national identity, and the theological imperatives that underwrote humankind's claim to dominion over the animal kingdom. In this context, Cole's study indicates, so-called "vermin" occupied liminal spaces between subject and object, nature and animal, animal and the devil, the devil and disease--even reason and madness. This verminous discourse formed a foundational category used to carve out humankind's relationship to an unpredictable, a-rational natural world, but it evolved into a form for thinking about not merely animals but anything that threatened the health of the body politic--humans, animals, and even thoughts."-- Provided by publisher
Variant and related titles
KU 2015-16 Round 2 Collection. OCLC KB.
Other formats
Print version: Imperfect creatures. Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, [2016]
Format
Books / Online
Language
English
Added to Catalog
June 05, 2024
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 211-232) and index.
Contents
Introduction: Reading beneath the Grain
Rats, Witches, Miasma, and Early Modern Theories of Contagion
Swarming Things: Dearth and the Plagues of Egypt in Wither and Cowley
"Observe the Frog": Imperfect Creatures, Neuroanatomy, and the Problem of the Human
Libertine Biopolitics: Dogs, Bitches, and Parasites in Shadwell, Rochester, and Gay
What Happened to the Rats? Hoarding, Hunger, and Storage on Crusoe's Island
Afterword: We Have Never Been Perfect.
Genre/Form
Criticism, interpretation, etc.
History.
Citation

Available from:

Online
Loading holdings.
Unable to load. Retry?
Loading holdings...
Unable to load. Retry?