The Oxbow (The Connecticut River near Northampton), by Thomas Cole, 1836.

The Oxbow (The Connecticut River near Northampton) (detail), by Thomas Cole, 1836. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Mrs. Russell Sage, 1908.

Book of Nature

Volume 1, Number 3 | summer 2008

The Empire of Flora, by Nicolas Poussin, 1631.

Funhouse Goddess

By D. Graham Burnett

It has never been easy to decipher what nature is trying to tell us, but that hasn’t stopped us from filling in the blanks. A look at the sexual politics of natural law theories.

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I always think of nature as a great spectacle, somewhat resembling the opera.

—Bernard de Fontenelle, 1686