Drinking the Landscape

When Mary Wollstonecraft visited Sweden and Norway in 1795, she drank the landscape. Its beauty was a tonic to her depression and sadness, and she bore witness in her letters to the restorative effects of the rugged coastline, the giant trees, and the marvels of sunlight. […]

Mary tried to end her life. She was rescued from drowning, and then, while convalescing, proceeded to craft the letters into what would become her bestselling work, Letters Written during a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.

In her letters, steeped in Kantian images of the sublime, Mary Wollstonecraft exults in the beauty and restorative powers of the natural world. She was briefly rescued, kept alive, by the lush forests of Scandinavia.

Moyra Davey, Index Cards, 185 & 188.