In Changing Landscapes, Peter Lindenbaum reveals the growing frustration of Sidney, Shakespeare, Milton, and other writers of their time with the ideal realm-the carefree Eden, the still-reigning Golden Age-that seemed to dominate pastoral poetry. Impelled by an awareness of human conflict with the world and of the forces that beleaguer from within, these writers proposed, in the guise of the pastoral, a vision of community, individual responsibility, and civic duty in a fallen world.
Lindenbaum locates the crisis of English pastoral in Protestant distrust of the contemplative life; in the fictions he considers, labor and love bring about new orders at the expense of old ones, or reveal the dynamics under the illusory facade of Arcadian stasis. In a sense Arcadia never really existed at all.
—South Atlantic Review
Lucidly, sometimes eloquently written, and judiciously argued.
Elegantly written . . . Lindenbaum's argument is a simple one ut nevertheless of considerable importance as to how we should interpret the pastoral landscape of the Arcadia
, As You Like It
, The Winter's Tale
, The Tempest
, and Paradise Lost
—Review of English Studies
His readings of Sidney, Shakespeare, and Milton are at once sensible and imaginative.