Horticulture of the Head: The Vegetable Life of Hair in Early Modern English Thought
Edward J. Geisweidt
University of Alabama
Edward J. Geisweidt. “Horticulture of the Head: The Vegetable Life of Hair in Early Modern English Thought.” Early Modern Literary Studies Special Issue 19 (2009) 6.1-24 <URL: http://purl.oclc.org/emls/si-19/geishair.html>.
Her yellow lockes crisped, like golden wyre,Although the color, the curl, and the careless abandon of her locks are conventional aspects of Belphoebe’s erotic appeal, the foliage that adorns her hair points to a peculiar relationship between Belphoebe and the natural world. Spenser’s narrator is unsure how to read the greenery. If the leaves and flowers are artfully entwined in her locks, the narrator finds it unnecessary to dilate on the human arts of cosmetology. More fascinating is the suggestion of a natural attraction between the flora and Belphoebe’s hair. The last two lines of the stanza entertain the possibility that the leaves and flowers actively (not accidentally) attach themselves to her hair. Kathleen Williams has remarked that Belphoebe is too “sincerely engaged” in the hunt to “suggest any doubleness of intention” when it comes to, for instance, her appearance (49).1 The unselfconsciousness and natural sensuality of Belphoebe’s presentation is in keeping with James W. Braddus’s characterization of her as “a physical Venus with a Diana psychology” (98).2 The flora, Braddus adds, are “emblems of life and sexuality” (98). Also noting the huntress’s hair, Judith Anderson comments that Belphoebe’s “figure suggests a seasonal revival” (85). While lending a sexual allure to the unswervingly chaste huntress, the natural commixture of hair and flowers contributes to Belphoebe’s representation of life and life cycles. Spenser’s depiction of Belphoebe’s vibrant vitality is indicative of an early modern understanding of the affinity between human bodies and plants. This paper explores that affinity as it appears in early modern English thought.
About her shoulders weren loosely shed,
And when the winde emongst them did inspire,
They waued like a pennon wyde dispred
And low behind her backe were scattered:
And whether art it were, or heedless hap,
As through the flouring forrest rash she fled,
In her rude heares sweet flowers themselues did lap,
And flourishing fresh leaues and blossomes did enwrap. (Spenser 2.3.30)
Even among human beings, children, when compared with adults, and dwarf adults when compared with others, may have some characteristics in which they are superior, but in intelligence, at any rate, they are inferior. And the reason, as aforesaid, is that in very many of them the principle of the soul is sluggish and corporeal. And if the heat which raises the organism up wanes still further while the earthy matter waxes, then the animals’ bodies wane, and they will be many-footed; and finally they lose their feet altogether and lie full length on the ground. Proceeding a little further in this way, they actually have their principal part down below, and finally the part which answers to a head comes to have neither motion nor sensation; at this stage the creature becomes a plant, and has its upper parts below and its nether parts aloft; for in plants the roots have the character and value of mouth and head, whereas the seed counts as the opposite, and is produced in the upper part of the plant on the ends of the twigs. (369-71)The descent Aristotle describes here equates the height to which an organism raises its noblest part—its head—toward the heavens with the ability to exercise the rational soul,9 a function perfected in the divine. The scheme is vertical, supposing a God at the top, with an adult below, supported by dwarfs and children. As its intellectual capacity diminishes, Aristotle’s hypothetical creature becomes shorter, eventually making the leap from biped human to multiped animal, its head ever closer to the earth. As it moves further from rationality, so does the organism hold its head further from heaven. It loses the little height its legs can offer, and as it makes the next leap from slithering animal to plant, it actually buries its head, the part equated not only with rationality but also the intake of nutrients. Height correlates with the presence of the rational soul and is measured by the proximity of the noblest part to the heavens. Thus the stoutest redwood could never be as tall as even an unremarkably fledged human. As the creature’s noblest part makes its descent from its celestially-reaching height to its niche underground, so too does the defining function of that part descend from intellectual activity to nutrition, a function of the vegetable soul.
The Uses of Hairs are for Distinction and Protection. That of Distinction is but secondary, the Leaves being grown to a considerable size. That of Protection is the prime, for which they were originally form’d together with the Leaves themselves, and whose service they enjoy in their Infant-estate: For the Hairs being then in form of a Down, always very thick set, thus give that Protection to the Leaves, which their exceeding tenderness then requires; so that they seem to be vested with a Coat of Frize, or to be kept warm, like young and dainty Chickens, in Wool. (L1v)This notion of plant hair’s dual-purpose accords with the medical and natural philosophical works of the period that regard human hair as both protective and ornamental. Poised as he is on the threshold of modern botanical science, Grew retains a sense of hair’s similar function across forms of life, plant and avian. These examples demonstrate that hair was a bodily feature humans shared with plants, both homologously and directly. One plant, however, was considered to be hair itself. The 1634 English edition of Pliny’s History of the World identifies the medical uses of the herb Equisetum, that is, Horse-tail. Equisetum is so named because “it is esteemed the very haire, proceeding out of the earth, like for all the world to the haire of an Horse-taile” (Z6).12 The comparison between the herb and the horse tail is one of resemblance that works in some sense to vitalize the earth. Whether from human, animal, or plant, hair is a common anatomical feature of all life.
For just as grass and plants coming up from damp, rich soil grow very tall, whereas those that come from dry, rocky soil remain without increase, small and hard, so in the same way, I suppose, the hair coming from soft, moist parts has a very good growth, like the hair of the head, armpits, and pudenda, whereas that from the hard, dry parts does not grow and remains short. Thus, like herbs and plants, hair has a twofold generation, stemming in part from the providence of the Creator and in part from the nature of the place. (534)God has the luxury of selecting the qualities of the human soil in which he intends to plant certain types of hair. The landscape shares with the body the property of radical moisture, which, along with heat, provides a necessary elemental basis of life in Galenic medicine. Hair growth thus provides a material referent for understanding the homology between land and body.
[w]ith the growth that has sprung up by itself the contrary is true in both respects; the germination is uneven and is not marked out in straight lines. This is the nature of the hair in the armpit and on the other members; for it is not bounded by definite lines like the hair of the eyebrows, eyelids, and head, but has irregular boundaries and is scattered indiscriminately, without order. (534-35).By placing the head’s hair in the farmer-Creator’s care, Galen here contradicts his own medical knowledge in order to reinforce Aristotle’s height-based hierarchy, which devalues plants for the literal lowliness of their sources of nutrition and deems noble the human head for its elevation toward the heavens. Galenic medicine understands the brain as moist, and so the head would provide the moist landscape that allows for unhindered growth. In arguing that God takes special interest in the hair of certain body parts, Galen shows a concern for maintaining the head’s privileged position. By virtue of growing on the head, the hair nourished by the brain’s moisture is ennobled beyond that growing on other moist body parts.
Within this limit is relief enough,Venus’s body parts shape the topography of her “limit” or bounded territory (OED 3.a), with her breasts serving as the “rising hillocks,” and her belly “the high delightful plain.” As for the plant life of her terrestrialized body, her hair appears to be all that populates her body with life. The Norton editors gloss the “[s]weet bottom grass” as pubic hair, and the “brakes obscure and rough” refer also to Venus’s pilosity. Noting the darker aspects of life in the poem’s setting, Anthony Mortimer writes that “Venus is offering Adonis a safer landscape than the one in which he wants to hunt” (73). Mortimer suggests that Venus’s own body presents a danger to the sexually reticent hunter. To Adonis, “[b]oth the real landscape and the real body are dangerous: only the landscaped body is safe” (73).
Sweet bottom-grass, and high delightful plain,
Round rising hillocks, brakes obscure and rough,
To shelter thee from tempest and from rain. (ll. 235-38).
Albiet manye tymes it happeneth to this body, as it doth to plashie wet grounde, wherein by reason of ouermuch moystnes and wette, no yong trees, no shrubbes, nor grasse growth. … For where too much wette is, there the hayres grow thinne, because heate wanteth power and lacketh strengthe, to bring out the pores and worke the humour vnder the skinne into hayre. (K8)Helkiah Crooke treats the body as a landscape in Mikrokosmographia: “for as neither in Marrish and Fenny ground, nor in one that is ouer dry and worne out of heart can any thing bee brought forth: so in an ouer moyst or ouer dry skin no haire can grow” (1615: G4).13 Crooke also anatomizes in botanical terms the hair planted in the body’s fleshy soil: “Now that part of the haire that is impacted in the pores of the skinne, may fittely bee resembled to the roote of an hearbe sticking in the ground, and that which beareth out of the skin, to the hearbe it self” (1615: G4). Crooke picks up Galen’s distinction between cultivated and uncultivated hairs, but he reverses Galen’s judgments concerning the brows, eyelashes, and head. He writes that some hairs are “congeniti, bred with vs, as the haire of the head, of the eye-browes, of the eye-lids. These are bred in the child while it is yet in the wombe, and are resembled not vnto hearbes that grow by sowing, but vnto such plants as nature bringeth forth of her owne accord; and such do not necessarily follow the temperature of the body” (1615: G4). While offering no explanation for his claims, Crooke also eschews the entire apparatus of God’s divine horticulture. By not framing the discussion in Galen’s terms of providence, Crooke draws attention to the natural similarities between plants and hair. In this brief passage, hairs are like plants not through a shared design but through a natural development. The womb is not the conscientious farmer but a space free of intercession, where hair grows according to its own natural inclinations.
Hair is form’d and stirr’d up, being endu’d with a particular Soul and Life distinct from the rest of the Parts, because they are not stirr’d up, and endu’d with Life with the rest of the Parts out of the same Seed; but apart, out of other Matter afterwards generated. Now that they live by virtue of another peculiar Vegetable Soul, that has no Communion with the other animated Parts of the Body, is apparent from hence; for that they do live only while a man is alive, but after his Decease, are nourish’d and encreas’d, after the same manner as Polypody-Moss, &c. grow upon old Trees, both before and after the Tree dies; because they have each a proper Soul, distinct from the Form and Soul of the Tree, out of which, and wherein they grow. (3B2v)In the 1682 edition of The Anatomy of humane bodies epitomized, the English physician Thomas Gibson follows Diemerbroeck’s position on hair vitality (having probably read the earlier 1672 Latin edition): “They are no parts of the Body, and therefore have no Animal life; yet they have a Vegetative life, and that peculiar to themselves, and not owing to the life of the Body, seeing they continue to grow after a Man is dead, as has been observed in embalmed Bodies” (V8-V8v). These speculations on the vegetable life of hair raise the question of the distribution of life in the body by the vegetative soul. The attribution to hair of a type of vegetable life relies on the Aristotelian concept of the tripartite soul. Insofar as hair was thought to be constituted by a vegetable soul, it could be easily imagined to possess a form of life that is autonomous from the body in which it is rooted.
Hair may be said to be a Part of the Body; for that really and indeed together with other Parts, compleats and perfects the Body of Man; as Leaves make a Tree, and Feathers a Bird. For as a Tree without Leaves, and a Bird without Feathers, can neither be said to be perfect, so a man without Hair, cannot be said to have all his Accomplishments, though he may live without it. (3C1)Diemerbroeck’s claim is based on the assumption, prevalent in the period, that hair continues to grow after the body’s death. But this assumption of continued growth suggests a vegetative function, guided by a rudimentary soul in each hair. Diemerbroeck also draws an Aristotelian analogy between leaves, feathers, and hair, one that suggests anatomical continuity between forms of life. No matter the definition of part, hair shares a kinship with plant life—be it moss or leaves—that provides a material, as opposed to moral, understanding of the human body, embedded in a natural world teeming with homologous forms of life.
Men (saith he) of all living creatures are mostly subject unto baldness, and they evidently become so sooner then any other creature whatsoever. Which kind of Affect is in a manner general. For so Plants likewise, some of them have alwaies green Leaves, others of them lose their Leaves. The like Affect is baldness in those men unto whom it happeneth that they should be Bald. For whenas by little and little (some now, some then) both the Leaves, and the Feathers, and the Hairs fall off, when this same Affect shall happen universally, then it receiveth these words, Baldness, falling of the Leaf, and shedding of the Feathers. (2G3)Sennert describes a shared physiological experience among three forms of life. Feathers provide a third term of anatomical homology here, but they do not play a mediating role between leaves and hair. The theme of shedding links human to plant, and both to animal, making such loss part of the “universal” pathos of life. In an epigram addressed “To one Bald” (here translated from its Latin original by Thomas Harvey) London poet and litteratus John Owen pointedly reminds his readers of a significant difference between humans’ and plants’ analogous life cycles: “Leaves to the Trees, and Grass returns to Ground: / But not one hair on thy bald pate is found” (A8v). Vegetable life experiences annual renewal of its anatomical ornaments, but human balding is—early modern hair restoration recipes not withstanding—a permanent reminder of mortality. Owen makes the point tauntingly, but this distinction within the similarity lends a note of pathos to the natural affinity between plant and human life cycles.
And as before the fall of the leafe, the fruite is not come to full perfection: no more is vnderstanding setled in the head, vntill suche time as all superfluities are fanned awaie. When therefore you see a baldpate, suppose streight way that the fruite there hath attained perfect ripenesse, and made the head a garner to preserue it: yea, you maie boldlie gesse, that such a head is the Temple of God. (B7v)Whereas the head as landscape provides the ground on which to grow vegetable-like hairs, Synesius’s capital metaphors are architectural, the head serving first as a granary for the fruit of wit, harvested at the hairs’ falling, then as a temple for the worship of God. The teleological end of life being wit, and hair being a hindrance to wit, only the bald man can attain human perfection and come closer to the divine.
The bearer of a shaved head attempted to keep the world out and himself in. For many early modern London citizens, hair was reined in along with any outward display of emotion or exaggeration. More than a mere social gesture, close shaving incorporated its political philosophy within the very forms of its expression. (117)Prefacing Thomas Hall’s Comarum akosmia: the Loathsomenesse of Long Haire (1654) is a poem by one “R. B.” entitled “to the Long-hair’d Gallants of these Times,” which references a particularly famous bush:
Go Gallants to the Barbers, go,Pate and landscape are subject to similar disciplinary practices by respective artisans of norms, barbers and mowers. Here the barber and mower are conflated.14 The poem’s reference to the burning bush invokes the particular landscape and vegetation of the Sinai Peninsula, bringing the issue of grooming into a moral ambit. Denying the holy presence to a gallant’s head of hair, the poet signals the ungodliness of long hair itself, a point that Hall makes continually and upon much authority throughout his tract.
Bid them your hairy Bushes mow.
God in a Bush did once appeare,
But there is nothing of him here. (A3)
[L]et thy haire grow thick and bushy like a forrest, or some wildernesse, lest those sixe-footed creatures that breed in it, and are Tenants to that crowne-land of thine, bee hunted to death by euery base barbarous Barber; and so that delicate and tickling pleasure of scratching, be vtterly taken from thee. (C3v)As Twyning points out, by taking an ironic stance and encouraging gallants to grow their hair out further, Dekker also takes a stab at the moralists of his day, particularly John Stubbes and Stephen Gosson (118-19). Dekker figures the gallant’s head as an ecosystem unto itself. Lice, assumed to be endemic to long hair, are forest denizens who, in the punning “crowne-land” of the head, are both the game and victims of the barber-hunter, whose barbarousness makes him an unsuitable sportsman for the regal game in a gallant’s hair. As a hunter, the barber would be an indiscriminate marksman, killing the six-footed creatures by deforestation, destroying a whole habitat rather than marking specific game. Dekker draws an explicit comparison between barbering and deforestation:
If then thou desirest to reserue that Fee-simple of wit, (thy head) for thee and the lawfull heirs of thy body, play neither the scurvy part of the Frenchman, that pluckes vp all by th[e] rootes, nor that of the spending Englishman, who to maintaine a paltry warren of vnprofitable Conies, disimparkes the stately swift-footed wild Deere: But let thine receiue his full growth that thou maiest safely and wisely brag tis thine owne Bush-Naturall. (C4)Dekker’s advice to the gallant takes on mock-urgency, for he stands to lose his head, his “Fee-simple” of corporeal land over which he ought to have unassailable ownership for himself and his (no doubt punning) heirs. Threats to the gallant’s head/land come in the forms of disease and deforestation. Dekker alludes to one telltale symptom of syphilis—hair loss—equating balding or barbering to trees’ removal through another shared feature of plants’ and hairs’ anatomy, roots. He also comments on the early modern English deforestation, lamenting the destruction of deer habitat for the open land and underground tunnels of man-made rabbit warrens.15
Therefore the winds, piping to us in vain,As Jan H. Blits has pointed out, Titania’s speech contains several discrepancies, among them is the disconnect between the state of natural crisis Titania describes, and the generally stable, often benevolent, natural world that other characters (and even Titania) present in the rest of the play (60-62). A. B. Taylor takes Titania at her word and points to this speech as an indication of Shakespeare’s fairies’ unusual level of involvement in world affairs:
As in revenge have sucked up from the sea
Contagious fogs which, falling in the land,
Hath every pelting river made so proud
That they have overborne their continents.
The ox hath therefore stretched his yoke in vain,
The ploughman lost his sweat, and the green corn
Hath rotted ere his youth attained a beard.
The fold stands empty in the drowned field,
And crows are fatted with the murrain flock. (2.1.88-97)
Traditionally fairies tended to be local and had only a peripheral effect on human life; they could occasionally put a curse on the livestock of some farmer who had offended them or be held responsible for ‘changelings’ but generally they lived apart from humans, keeping themselves to themselves. Shakespeare transformed a fairly thin literary tradition in this country by blending elements of folklore with classical literature in an unprecedented way, in the process giving the fairy world new powerful dimensions and relevance. (57-58)Perhaps Helena, too, has a sense of the dire situation when she tells Hermia that “[s]ickness is catching” (1.1.186). The drama of the fairies’ strife, with the embedded narrative of crisis, offers an urgent sense of the material relation between emotion and behavior, and the ecosystem. Wittingly or not, Oberon and Titania through their own agency threaten the lives of humans and plants alike.
And thorough this distemperature we seeThe deleterious effects of climate change are indicated in part by the incongruity of coiffure in this passage. In confounding the aged, white-haired frosts with the fresh red rose, Shakespeare depicts the threat of an early death that unseasonable weather brings. To add insult to injury, the substance of Hiem’s capital adornment changes, from ice to flowers. The description of his hair as “thin” is an emendation of the Quarto and Folio reading, “chinne.” Editors in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries found absurd the notion of a garland of flowers being set on the chin: a chaplet can be set only upon the head, the reasoning goes, and so it makes better sense to emend “chinne” to a word that does, in fact, often describe the hair on the crowns of old men (Furness 67-68n113). If we consider, however, that hair not only serves as anatomical adornment (easily covered over by a chaplet) but also has anatomical affinity with vegetable life, we can see how Shakespeare might imagine flowers not resting on Hiem’s head, but growing from it. As a man’s beard was, in Shakespeare’s time, a particularly sensitive anatomical target of insults, the “mockery” to Hiem is all the worse if flowers replace the icy whiskers of his beard. In the texts of the play’s first printed versions, Hiem loses, if you will, his “winter heere,” a phrase I take from those same texts and which editors emend to “winter cheer” at line 101 (“The human mortals want their winter cheer”). Either reading—“thin” or “chinne”—indicates that there is a time and place for the affiliation of flowers and hair. The moment of Athenian ecological crisis described by Titania provides neither.
The seasons alter: hoary-headed frosts
Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose,
And on old Hiems’ thin and icy crown
An odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds
Is, as in mock’ry, set. (2.1.106-11)
For their nourishing advice at various stages of this article’s germination, I want to thank the participants of the Shakespeare Association of America (SAA) 2008 Seminar “Flora’s Court,” the participants of the 2007-2008 Folger Institute “Researching the Archives” seminar, the editors and anonymous readers at EMLS, and Sharon O’Dair. I am grateful to The Folger Institute, The SAA, The University of Alabama, and The Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies for grants that funded research or allowed me to present early versions of this article.
1 For a discussion of art and nature in this stanza, see Berger (139-40).
2 On the association of Belphoebe with Venus’s disguise as a follower of Diana in Book I of Virgil’s Aeneid, see Anderson 85-87.
3 See Park and Siraisi. On the relation between life and soul from a perspective of early modern Aristotelianism, see Des Chene. For recent work on the vegetative soul’s influence on characters in Thomas Kyd’s Spanish Tragedy, see Crosbie.
4 All references to Shakespeare’s works are taken from The Norton Shakespeare unless otherwise indicated. Further citations appear parenthetically in the text.
5 The classic study of this concept remains Lovejoy. Lovejoy presents a history of the various ideas informing the Chain, including gradation, continuity, and plenitude, from the ancients to the eighteenth-century. Recently, Gabriel Egan (2006) has revived Shakespeareans’ interest in the Chain, asserting its value to ecocritical studies of the drama.
6 Recent critics have explored the human/animal divides and junctures. Notable studies include Boehrer, Fudge, and Paster. For a more extensive bibliography on the topic, see Raber.
7 See, for instance, M. Peter Bembo’s praise for rational, instead of sensual love in Castiglione (T1v-T3v). Bryskett likewise recognizes that, given his position in the cosmic order, man has the potential “to decline (if he list) to the nature of those bruite beasts” (Y2v). Levinus Lemnius admonishes beastly people in Touchstone of Complexions: “In many men there is a greate resemblance & affynitie in nature with other Beastes, and the further that these digress from the puritie of temperament, the lesse sway in them beareth Reason, Judgment, Understanding, willingnes to doe good, Wysedome, and discretion: to be short, they are partakers of all those things that are common to Beastes.” He continues, “And thus, there bee many which eyther for lack of good education, or through this deprauation of Nature, degenerate into Beastes, and in all their actions in one point or other, resemble them in conditions” (M8v). What is striking here is the way that moral degradation appears to almost precipitate physical transformation.
8 For assessments of Aristotle’s libris animalis’ status in the canon of early modern natural philosophy, see Mikkeli; Park and Kessler; Schmitt; and Wallace.
9 Aristotle privileges humans’ erect posture by relating it to their intellectual capacity: “Man is the only animal that stands upright, and this is because his nature and essence is divine. Now the business of that which is most divine is to think and to be intelligent; and this would not be easy if there were a great deal of the body at the top weighing it down, for weight hampers the motion of the intellect and of the general sense” (367).
10 On the “organic soul,” see Park.
11 According to Behnke, “Plant trichomes comprise such structural and functional extremes as hairs, glands (i.e. glandular hairs, capitate hairs, colleters), scales (or peltate hairs) and sometimes, emergences and papillae” (2). The functions of trichomes are various. According to the editors of Biology and Chemistry of Plant Trichomes, the hairs protect plants from phytophagous insects, temperature drops, and water loss (v).
12 Thomas Elyot also identifies the herb with cattes tayle (R4v). John Gerard identifies several types of Horse-tail (5A3-5A4v).
13 The 1651 edition replaces “Marrish and Fenny ground” with “Ground where water always standeth” (F2v).
14 A related connection is that made by Bushnell, who writes that many of early modern England’s most well-known herbalists “started as apothecaries or barber-surgeons” before establishing their reputations as gardeners (26).
15 On the disafforestation and royal efforts to preserve deer parks,
see Thomas 200-03.
Anderson, Judith. “Belphoebe.” The Spenser Encyclopedia. Gen. Ed. A. C. Hamilton. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 1990. 85-87. Print.
Aristotle. Parts of Animals. Trans. A. L. Peck. Aristotle in Twenty-Three Volumes. Vol. 12. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1968. Print. Loeb Classic Library.
Batman, Stephen. Batman vppon Bartholome. London, 1582. STC 1538. Print..
Behnke, H. Dietmar. “Plant Trichomes—Structure and Ultrastructure: General Terminology, Taxonomic Applications, and Aspects of Trichome-Bacteria Interaction in Leaf Tips of Dioscorea.” Biology and Chemistry of Plant Trichomes. Ed. Eloy Rodriguez, Patrick L. Healey, and Indira Mehta. New York: Plenum P, 1984. 1-21. Print.
Berger, Harry, Jr. The Allegorical Temper: Vision and Reality in Book II of Spenser’s Faerie Queene. New Haven: Yale UP, 1957. Print.
Blits, Jan H. The Soul of Athens: Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2003. Print.
Boehrer, Bruce. Shakespeare Among the Animals: Nature and Society in the Drama of Early Modern England. New York: Palgrave, 2002. Print.
Braddus, James W. Spenser’s Allegory of Love: Social Vision in Books III, IV, and V of The Faerie Queene. Madison: Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 1995. Print.
Bryskett, Lodowick. A discourse of ciuill life. London, 1606. STC 3958. Print.
Bushnell, Rebecca. Green Desire: Imagining Early Modern English Gardens. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 2003. Print.
Castiglione, Baldassare. The courtyer of Count Baldessar Castilio. Trans. Thomas Hoby. London, 1561. STC 4778. Print.
Crooke, Helkiah. Mikrokosmographia. London, 1615. STC 6062. Print.
---. Mikrokosmographia. London, 1651. STC 6062.2. Print.
Crosbie, Christopher. “Oeconomia and the Vegetative Soul: Rethinking Revenge in The Spanish Tragedy.” English Literary Renaissance 38 (2008): 3-33. Print.
Dekker, Thomas. The guls horne-booke. London, 1609. STC 6500. Print.
Des Chene, Dennis. Life’s Form: Late Aristotelian Conceptions of the Soul. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 2000. Print.
Diemerbroeck, Ysbrand van. Anatomy of human bodies. London, 1689. Wing D1415. Print.
Egan, Gabriel. Green Shakespeare: From Ecopolitics to Ecocriticism. London: Routledge, 2006. Print.
Elyot, Thomas. Bibliotheca Eliotae Eliotis librarie. London, 1542. STC 7660. Print.
Floyd-Wilson, Mary, and Garrett A. Sullivan, Jr. “Introduction: Inhabiting the Body, Inhabiting the World.” Environment and Embodiment in Early Modern England. Ed. Mary Floyd-Wilson and Garrett A. Sullivan, Jr. New York: Palgrave, 2007. 1-13. Print.
Fudge, Erica. Brutal Reasoning: Animals, Rationality, and Humanity in Early Modern England. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 2006. Print.
Galen. On the Usefulness of the Parts. Trans. Margaret Tallmadge May. Vol. 2. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1968. Print.
Gerard, John. The herbal or Generall historie of plantes. London, 1633. STC 11751. Print.
Gibson, Thomas. The anatomy of humane bodies epitomized. London, 1682. Wing G672. Print.
Grew, Nehemiah. The Anatomy of plants with an idea of a philosophical history of plants. London 1682. Wing G1945. Print.
Hall, Thomas. Comarum akosmia: The Loathsomenesse of Long Haire. London, 1654. Wing H429. Print.
Lemnius, Levinus. The touchstone of complexions. London, 1576. STC 15456. Print.
Lovejoy, Arthur O. The Great Chain of Being: A Study in the History of Ideas. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1936; rpt. 1964. Print.
Mikkeli, Heikki. An Aristotelian Response to Renaissance Humanism: Jacopo Zabarella on the Nature of Arts and Sciences. Helsinki: Finnish Historical Society, 1992. Print.
Mortimer, Anthony. Variable Passions: A Reading of Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis. New York: AMS, 2000. Print.
Owen, John. John Owen’s Latine epigrams. Trans. Thomas Harvey. London, 1677. Wing O825E. Print.
Park, Katharine. “The Organic Soul.” The Cambridge History of Renaissance Philosophy. Gen. Ed. Charles B. Schmitt. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1988. 464-84. Print.
Park, Katharine, and Eckhard Kessler. “The Concept of Psychology.” The Cambridge History of Renaissance Philosophy. Gen. Ed. Charles B. Schmitt. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1988. 455-63. Print.
Paster, Gail Kern. Humoring the Body: Emotions and the Shakespearean Stage. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2004. Print.
Paster, Gail Kern, Katherine Rowe, and Mary Floyd-Wilson. “Introduction: Reading the Early Modern Passions.” Reading the Early Modern Passions: Essays in the Cultural History of Emotion. Ed. Gail Kern Paster, Katherine Rowe, and Mary Floyd-Wilson. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 2004. 1-20. Print.
Pico della Mirandola, Giovanni. On the Dignity of Man. Trans. Charles Glenn Wallis. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., 1965. Print.
Pliny, the Elder. The historie of the world. Trans. Philemon Holland. London, 1634. STC 20030. Print.
Porta, Giambattista della. Natural magick. London, 1658. Wing P2982. Print.
Raber, Karen. “Recent Ecocritical Studies of English Renaissance Literature.” English Literary Renaissance 37 (2007): 151-71. Print.
Schmitt, Charles B. “Aristotle Among the Physicians.” The Medical Renaissance of the Sixteenth Century. Ed. Andrew Wear, Roger K. French, and Iain M. Lonie. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1985. 1-15. Print.
Sennert, Daniel. The Art of chirurgery. Trans. Nicholas Culpeper. London, 1663. Wing S2531. Print.
Shakespeare, William. The Norton Shakespeare. Gen. Ed. Stephen Greenblatt. New York: Norton, 1997. Print.
---. A Midsommer Nights Dreame. Ed. Horace Howard Furness. New Variorum. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1895. Print.
Siraisi, Nancy G. Medieval and Early Renaissance Medicine: An Introduction to Knowledge and Practice. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1990. Print.
Spenser, Edmund. The Faerie Qveene. Ed. A. C. Hamilton. Harlow: Longman, 2001. Print.
Synesius of Cyrene. A paradoxe, prouing by reason and example, that baldnesse is much better than bushie haire. Trans. Abraham Fleming. London, 1579. STC 23603. Print.
Taylor, A. B. “Ovid’s Myths and the Unsmooth Course of Love in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Shakespeare and the Classics. Ed. Charles Martindale and A. B. Taylor. Cambridge: Cambridge U P, 2004. 49-65. Print.
Thomas, Keith. Man and the Natural World: Changing Attitudes in England 1500–1800. New York: Oxford UP, 1983. Print.
Twyning, John. London Dispossessed: Literature and Social Space in the Early Modern City. London: Macmillan, 1998. Print.
Wallace, William A. “Traditional Natural Philosophy.” The Cambridge History of Renaissance Philosophy. Gen. Ed. Charles B. Schmitt. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1988. 201-35. Print.
Watson, Robert. Back to Nature: The Green and the Real in the Late Renaissance. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 2006. Print.
Wilkins, John. An essay towards a real character, and a philosophical language. London, 1668. Wing W2196. Print.
Williams, Kathleen. Spenser’s World of Glass: A Reading of The Faerie Queene. Berkeley: U of California P, 1966. Print.
Responses to this piece intended for the Readers' Forum may be sent to the Editor at M.Steggle@shu.ac.uk.
© 2009-, Matthew Steggle (Editor, EMLS).