Title

Gentlemen and Gentle Women: The Landscape Ethos in Millenium Hall

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Fall 2011

Department

English

Abstract

The rural landscape in Sarah Scott's Millenium Hall is not simply the setting but rather a way of seeing the world that the novel scrutinizes. This article synthesizes various readings of landscape in Scott's novel in order to assert its construction of a landscape ethos that encompasses ethical, aesthetic, and economic experience. Drawing on cultural geography and art history, I assess the relationship between the novel's content and form and argue that peripheral details contribute to its larger textual landscape, thus giving rise to the ethos in question. This formal analysis exposes the conservatism of the novel's social and gender politics. The landscape ethos unites the female inhabitants of the Hall with their male visitors, naturalizing their shared gentility and rendering their social privilege more stable even as the seemingly more urgent concern—women's vulnerability—eludes the narrator's grasp.

Publication Title

Eighteenth-Century Fiction

Volume

24

Issue

1

First Page

31

Last Page

54

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