English Romantic writers were not simply singing the beauties of an idyllic countryside: they were seriously concerned with the risk of playing foul with the environment, as the Industrial Revolution was all too plainly doing in England. This is reflected in the poetry of William Wordsworth and the writings of several other authors of the age. As the nineteenth century wore on, the defence of what was left of England’s rural heritage became a serious concern with visual artists and novelists such as Thomas Hardy, whose “novels of character and environment” bear witness to this concern. In the latter part of the twentieth century a new awareness of the dangers to the environment brought about by mass tourism manifested itself. This was especially and painfully felt in the so-called ‘tourist paradise’ of the West Indies, as the works of Derek Walcott and V.S. Naipaul show.
Arturo Cattaneo è Professore Ordinario di Letteratura Inglese presso l'Università Cattolica di Milano. Ha pubblicato libri e saggi in italiano e in inglese. Tra i libri, un lungo saggio creativo, Shakespeare e l'amore (Einaudi, Torino 2019). È autore di A Short History of English Literature (Mondadori, Milano 2019), e di una serie di storie antologiche della letteratura inglese per le scuole superiori (L & L l’ultima, edita da Signorelli, Milano). Ha pubblicato due romanzi: Ci vediamo a settembre (2010, Sedizioni) e La notte inglese (2012, Mondadori).