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Space and the 'March of Mind'Literature and the Physical Sciences in Britain 1815-1850$
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Alice Jenkins

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199209927

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199209927.001.0001

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Culture as Nature: Landscape Metaphors and Access to the World of Learning

Culture as Nature: Landscape Metaphors and Access to the World of Learning

(p.29) 1 Culture as Nature: Landscape Metaphors and Access to the World of Learning
Space and the 'March of Mind'

Alice Jenkins (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the landscape metaphors that were very frequently used to regulate and describe access to knowledge. By imaging knowledge as a series of outdoor spaces, subject to a greater or lesser degree of human intervention, and accessible to a greater or lesser range of human characters, these metaphors of gardens, wildernesses, pastoral, and picturesque landscapes staged debates about who should be able to learn what in early 19th-century Britain as a tussle between nature and culture. The chapter asks how spatial rhetorics were mobilized to manage access to knowledge in the face of strong pressures at once to enlarge and to control popular engagement in education. Using evidence from both popular and elite texts, it explores the political implications of the particular kinds of spatial metaphor most widely deployed, focusing especially on arguments and anxieties about individualism, conquest, and exploration.

Keywords:   landscape metaphors, access to knowledge, outdoor spaces, spatial metaphor

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