Author Biography

Heidi Laudien is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at Manhattan College where she has taught for the last 21 years. She specializes in British women poets and has written on Aphra Behn and Elizabeth Singer Rowe. She is currently working on a book length study that centers on early modern women's contributions to the pastoral.


Laudien argues in “Grasses, Groves and Gardens: Aphra Behn Goes Green” that Behn moves beyond the stylized and artificial backdrops of most pastoral to explore the unique ways the landscape can be manipulated to investigate gender difference and the dynamics of desire and representation. Laudien suggests that in prioritizing the pastoral as political allegory in Behn, we overlook the descriptions of nature and the importance she places on the natural environments she creates. Through close readings of several of her pastoral poems, Laudien reveals that Behn’s landscapes destabilize existing notions of the pastoral space as an idealized and organized place and disorient the reader’s conventional expectations of pastoral nature.


pastoral, poetry, early modern women, environment, Aphra Behn, landscape, retirement, rural