The Radical Ecology of the Shelleys: Eros and Environment is the first full-length study to explore a radically queer ecology at work in writings by Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley as their discussions of nature and the natural consistently link ecology and erotic practice. Initiated by Timothy Morton in 2010 as a hybrid of two schools of thinking about nature, queer ecology combines the alertness of environmentalists to constructions of the "natural" with efforts of sexuality scholars to denaturalize identity and to expose sexuality as a culture-bound construct. Conceptions of place are central to this investigation not only because an attachment to place is traditionally thought to be the ontological basis of all environmental consciousness (e.g. think-globally-act-locally) but because these two Romantic writers underscore the dynamic interaction between a person’s natural surroundings and his/her interpersonal attachments. The poetical and prose writings of the Shelleys claim our special attention because of their unusual conception of the oikos, the etymological root of "ecology," to mean both local grounds and the social, often domestic, places in which people dwell and desire. The overarching thesis of this book asserts that proto-ecological theories in Romantic-era England cannot be understood separately from discourses related to married/family life, and the texts considered demonstrate the comingling of earthly and erotic enjoyment. The issues raised by Eros and Environment are fundamental not only to literary and queer history but to all humanistic studies. They render the study of nature from a queer perspective a matter of intense interest to scholars in numerous disciplines ranging from ecocriticism and the natural sciences, including climate studies, to feminist criticism and sexuality studies.  

chapter |16 pages


chapter 1|20 pages

Queer Ecology and Its Romantic Roots

chapter 2|40 pages

“The Nature of Love and Friendship”

Ecotones and Other Fine Lines in Percy Shelley’s Writings on Romantic Friendship

chapter 3|41 pages

Percy Shelley’s Hermaphroditus

Queer Nature and the Sex Lives of Plants in The Sensitive-Plant and The Witch of Atlas

chapter 5|38 pages

Osculate Wildly

Earth-Kissing and Tree-Kissing in Mary Shelley’s The Last Man and Lodore

chapter |10 pages


Tangled, or the Shelleyan Network