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Green Unpleasant Land

Creative Responses to Rural England's Colonial Connections

Corinne Fowler
Creative Non-Fiction
Date published
12 Nov 2020

Green Unpleasant Land explores the repressed history of rural England’s links to transatlantic enslavement and the East India Company.

Combining essays, poems and stories, it details the colonial links of country houses, moorlands, woodlands, village pubs and graveyards. Fowler, who herself comes from a family of slave-owners, argues that Britain’s cultural and economic legacy is not simply expressed by chinoiserie, statues, monuments, galleries, warehouses and stately homes. This is a shared history: Britons’ ancestors either profited from empire or were impoverished by it. The legacy of empire is expressed by potent language, literary culture and lasting ideas, not least about the countryside. Green Unpleasant Land argues that, in response to recent advances in British imperial history, contemporary authors have reshaped the pastoral writing to break the powerful association between the countryside and Englishness.


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Corinne Fowler

Dr. Corinne Fowler is Associate Professor at the University of Leicester.

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