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The Invention of the Countryside : Hunting, Walking and Ecology in English Literature, 1671-1831

Darcy acknowledged, that the partridges were remarkably well done; and I suppose he has two or three French cooks at least. Even in the bad economic standings, Mrs. Bennet is able to serve dishes like partridge because they can acquire them through their land.

Is this applicable today? In short, yes and no. Animal hunting in Austen era was being petitioned for animal rights, coincidentally when feminism and anti-slavery was being advocated Landry, The Invention of the Countryside, 8.


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Anti-hunting notions also brought about vegetarianism as a fashion Landry, The Invention of the Countryside, 11 , which is still very much practiced today. Austen, Jane and David M. New York: Knopf Doubleday Group, Digital image. Pinterest, n.

Eighteenth-Century Literature

In The Eustace Diamonds and American Senator, Trollope portrays his single female characters with a variety of hunting metaphors and subject positions. Trollope treats romantic prey most vividly, however, in Lucinda Roanoke, whose turbulent engagement to Sir Griffin Tewett supports uneasy metaphors of non- human mediation and exploitation.

From the start, Sir Griffin approaches Lucinda as a difficult and desirable object, whom he aims to possess through forms of violent mastery and pursuit perfected through the chase. However, with no fortune, pressure from her aunt, and the bear- ish Griffin as her only marital option, she steels herself to accept him.

Ultimately, she refuses to behave as a kept beast by falling into madness on her wedding day. Through Lucinda, The Eustace Diamonds exposes the vexed texture of agency, in the shifting, non-human connections that mediate both her marriage plot and its alternate form in blood sport. What matters instead for Trollope is not where but how plots will unfold along the way — which paths are taken and choices pursued, and in what man- ner, tempo and mode. In Hunting Sketches and British Sports and Pastimes, Trollope offers a clear over- view of hunting as a strategic game, rooted in social conduct, probabilistic calculation, non-human mediation and ecological resource management.

BSP, p. Yet, other pleasures exist in the hunt beyond the ritual closure of the kill. By the s, the hunt increasingly stressed horsemanship and hard riding, spurring debate between those who favoured hunting to ride or riding to hunt, who privileged either the play of horses or of hounds.

His essays explicitly define the sport as a science of transforming instinct, premised on human interference and design. For, as Trollope notes, inspiring a fox to run — and dogs to scent and pursue it — is a decidedly artificial task. He recognises that participants often must hunt by other senses and through non- human assistance. Fox-hunting supported a modern ecology of speed and shelter. As historian Donna Landry notes, the popularity of the chase encouraged ecological conservation among sporting landlords, who, beginning in the late eighteenth century, cultivated a new landscape of cover for foxes, consisting of hedges, ditches, gorse patches and shel- ter belts.

He defines enjoyment of the sport as premised upon a steady pursuit of the long game.

Online The Invention Of The Countryside Hunting Walking And Ecology In English Literature

For his own output in the literary market, Trollope repeatedly advocated careful, regular control and pacing. As Trollope here shows, he is deeply concerned with the role of place, as a crucial site of influence, privilege and proximity, whether in the hunt or in other competitive fields and institutions.

He advises the long view — restraint and economy — because these strategies will still allow an eventual position close enough to the action. The judicious horseman must foresee the probable actions of populations human and non-human and then map them onto a greater, systemic vision of country and terrain. Trollope recognises the ambitious seductions of being first in the hunt. Yet, Trollope argues, it is foolhardy to define an honourable place as consistently first. These over-striving riders not only open themselves up to risk; they also lack a sense of the broader view.

Outdoor Skills & Survival

In British Sports and Pastimes, Trollope suggests that the true pleasures of hunting are not about keeping score or reductive outward display, but about unquantifiable experience, through which one realises and expresses character. Beyond language or representation, these triumphs are a silent mark of distinction among those who do not finish in front, but conduct themselves with honour and poise within the field. For Trollope, genuine success requires understanding the hunt as a living and ultimately incalculable form of media.

For these characters, the hunt serves as both a metaphor and medium for navigating hubs of power and influence.

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In The American Senator, Arabella largely confines her risk-taking to the pursuit of metaphorical quarry. Yet, risky and foolhardy, Arabella not only fails in her hunt of Rufford; she also loses her prior engagement to John Morton, the absentee squire of Bragton and Foreign Office Ambassador to United States. By the end of The American Senator, Arabella must retreat in ignominy, trading her ambitions for social exile and a merely adequate match with Mounser Green, a Patagonia-bound clerk in the Foreign Office. To cement her relationship with Lord Rufford, she remains strategically stationed by the injured Major Caneback, despite no prior acquaintance with the fallen man.

Sometimes she navigates her social world with calculating finesse, but at others she does so more unevenly and inconsistently, recurring to earlier mod- els of honour, custom and kinship. Similarly, Arabella relies perhaps too blindly on patriarchal patronage and hierarchy when she asks her uncle, the Duke of Mayfair, to advocate for her engage- ment to Rufford. Defined by both lateral and vertical bonds, this social order still bears the mark of past, established institutions — such as patriarchal kinship, marital alliance, aristocratic honour, and fealty among tenants and squires.

To husband-hunt with skill, Arabella must act not only on her own, but also through the influential mediation of a male guarantor — typically a parent or guard- ian serving the offices of host, patron, mentor and chaperone. Ideally, this guarantor should act as a reliable informatic hub, using his well-connected proximity to help his charges gain and sustain valuable social links and contacts. Aside from her estranged father and hopelessly vulgar mother, she only has a distant and uninterested uncle to take her part.

To compensate for this paternal power vacuum, Arabella uses other clever techni- cal stratagems and media, including the post, the railroad, carriages and even gam- bling to buy her wardrobe. In her pursuit of Rufford, she employs the logistics of the hunting field — and supporting modes of transportation — to her initial advantage.

And she could remember every jump, and her feeling of ecstasy as she landed on the right side.

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