The rural landscape in Sarah Scott's Millenium Hall is not simply the setting but rather a way of seeing the world that the novel scrutinizes. This article synthesizes various readings of landscape in Scott's novel in order to assert its construction of a landscape ethos that encompasses ethical, aesthetic, and economic experience. Drawing on cultural geography and art history, I assess the relationship between the novel's content and form and argue that peripheral details contribute to its larger textual landscape, thus giving rise to the ethos in question. This formal analysis exposes the conservatism of the novel's social and gender politics. The landscape ethos unites the female inhabitants of the Hall with their male visitors, naturalizing their shared gentility and rendering their social privilege more stable even as the seemingly more urgent concern -- women's vulnerability -- eludes the narrator's grasp.
Jordan, Nicolle M.
"Gentlemen and Gentle Women: The Landscape Ethos in Millenium Hall,"
1, Article 2.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.mcmaster.ca/ecf/vol24/iss1/2
Nicolle Jordan, associate professor of English at the University of Southern Mississippi, is currently working on a book entitled "Prolific Ground: Landscape and Eighteenth-Century British Women's Writing," which investigates the role of women in the improvement discourse of early-modern Britain.