Updated throughout, this new edition provides a clear and invaluable introduction to the study of pastoral. Terry Gifford traces the history of the genre from its classical origins through to contemporary writing and introduces the major writers and critical issues relating to pastoral. Gifford breaks the term down into three accessible concepts – pastoral, anti-pastoral, post-pastoral – and provides up-to-date examples from literature and film. New chapters explain the continuing tradition of georgic literature and the recent evolution of pastoral in their historical contexts. Pastoral is essential and engaging reading for students and academics alike.