With my analysis of Bettina von Arnim's romantic fairy tale "The Queen's Son," I join the ongoing effort to illuminate the relevance that romanticism holds for twenty-first-century ecocritics. Parallels between the two movements include a rejection of the nature-culture dualism that characterized Cartesian rationalism and an awareness of the interdependency of life. Drawing on European philosophical traditions from the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries as well as current ecocritical theories, I read von Arnim's tale as an illustration of opposing discourses that were in circulation at the time and that anticipate perspectives and behaviors still prevalent today. I also discuss similarities between this early work and von Arnim's mature publications, including the compassion that works from both periods convey for oppressed groups, whether human or non-human. I demonstrate the tale's importance for understanding von Arnim's oeuvre and contributing to a more respectful interaction between human beings and nature's other life-forms.


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pp. 1-24
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