The Association for the Study of Literature and Environment gave its first Ecocriticism and Environmental Creative Writing Book Award to Back to Nature: The Green and the Real in the Late Renaissance by Robert N. Watson.
According to the ASLE judges:
Back to Nature is a tour de force of ecocritical scholarship. At once exceptionally rigorous and offering a range and directness that Jonathan Bate perfectly describes as "demanding, and at times dizzying," Back to Nature is the first really new approach to the Renaissance pastoral in at least two generations of critical scholarship. The work weaves pastoral literatures and aesthetics from
Shakespeare to Marvell to Traherne — not to mention Vermeer and Ryckaert –with questions of intellectual and political history, the rise of science, and postmodern theory; these complex narrative strands give Back to Nature an unusually powerful sweep, sophistication and authority.
Congratulations, Professor Watson!
More on ecocriticism can be found at the ASLE website.