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  • 2021KarenLloydPhD

    Final published version, 2.21 MB, PDF document

    Embargo ends: 30/06/26

    Available under license: CC BY-NC-ND: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

  • Reflective essay

    Final published version, 919 KB, PDF document

    Available under license: CC BY-NC-ND: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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Abundance: nature in recovery

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Publication date2021
Number of pages233
Awarding Institution
Place of PublicationLancaster
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This thesis is in two parts, a book of literary essays titled Abundance: Nature in Recovery (80%) exploring narratives of abundance in the natural world, and a reflective essay titled To Receive the Wolf: the Essay in the Anthropocene (20%) in which I examine my creative process.
This project uses the literary essay to investigate abundance in the Anthropocene. The research explores themes of activism, consolation and distraction and employs the concept of the ‘agrapha,’ Greek for ‘unwritten,’ to investigate landscapes and themes outside of the existing canon of British nature writing. This research deploys the essay as ‘an eyeball floating above the world, reporting what it sees,’ using imaginative engagement, different ways of paying attention and forms of distraction to situate the essay as a form of ‘environmental justice action.’ The use of memoir is deployed to show the self as a fallible individual in relation to the world, rejecting the notion of a more self-centred memoir. The ‘I’ manifests as a character who uses curiosity to react to a wide range of environmental and human concerns in the geographic, metaphorical and reflective fields. The resulting collection communicates ideas on abundance and loss for a generalist reading public, affiliated towards key exponents of the genre.
The reflective critical section addresses my research questions directly. Through them I gain the following understanding: how I use the literary essay and its diverse, formal opportunities to explore abundance in the Anthropocene: the use of literary technique as a means of investigating abundance against a backdrop of global warming and failing biodiversity: establish an ecosystem of writers of influence and contextualise my work as part of a niche within that system: the considerations employed in assembling the whole sequence out of individual essays and the conclusions I have drawn from the research process.

Bibliographic note

Karen Lloyd is the author of two previous books of non-fiction, The Gathering Tide; A Journey Around the Edgelands of Morecambe Bay and The Blackbird Diaries.