How much do we really know about the place we call 'home'? In this sweeping, timely book, Nicholas Crane tells the story of Britain. ***** Over the course of 12,000 years of continuous human occupation, the British landscape has been transformed form a European peninsula of glacier and tundra to an island of glittering cities and exquisite countryside. In this geographical journey through time, we discover the ancient relationship between people and place and the deep-rooted tensions between town and countryside. From tsunamis to Roman debacles, from henge to high-rise and hamlet to metropolis, this is a book about change and adaptation. As Britain lurches towards a more sustainable future, it is the story of our age. 'A geographer's love letter to the British and the land that formed them ... dramatic, lyrical and even inspiring' Sunday Times 'A magnificent, epic work by a national treasure ... A tour de force' Bel Mooney, Daily Mail
Towards a Comparative and Transcultural History of Disasters Across Asia and Europe
Author: Gerrit Jasper Schenk
Category: Social Science
Historical disaster research is still a young field. This book discusses the experiences of natural disasters in different cultures, from Europe across the Near East to Asia. It focuses on the pre-industrial era and on the question of similarities, differences and transcultural dynamics in the cultural handling of natural disasters. Which long-lasting cultural patterns of perception, interpretation and handling of disasters can be determined? Have specific types of disasters changed the affected societies? What have people learned from disasters and what not? What adaptation and coping strategies existed? Which natural, societal and economic parameters play a part? The book not only reveals the historical depth of present practices, but also reveals possible comparisons that show globalization processes, entanglements and exchanges of ideas and practices in pre-modern times.
Like many of the families in this book, Rex Sly follows in the footsteps of his ancestors who were also farmers in the Fens. The land was reclaimed by forebears, giving this unique bond between "soil and soul"—each generation wishing to leave their soils as a sustainable inheritance to the next. The variety of crops which are grown has changed little over the past half-century, but the traditional farms have been largely replaced by high-tech agro-businesses. Not all farms in the fens are large, though, and the richness of the soils still enables the small grower to survive in a niche marketplace. The greatest change has been from the grower to the consumers' shopping baskets. The marketing chain has changed from markets and merchants to the vast supermarket network: fast and efficient for the grower and value for money for the public. The corn exchanges which witnessed the rise and fall of agriculture over one and a half centuries of history are now no more than farming monuments. The ever-increasing demands on our soils are of concern to those in the Fens. Each generation is replaceable—fen topsoil is not.
In his first book since the acclaimed The Running Sky Tim Dee tells the story of four green fields. Four fields spread around the world: their grasses, their hedges, their birds, their skies, and their natural and human histories. Four real fields – walkable, mappable, man-made, mowable and knowable, but also secretive, mysterious, wild, contested and changing. Four fields – the oldest and simplest and truest measure of what a man needs in life – looked at, thought about, worked in, lived with, written. Dee’s four fields, which he has known for more than twenty years, are the fen field at the bottom of his Cambridgeshire garden, a field in southern Zambia, a prairie field in Little Bighorn, Montana, USA, and a grass meadow in the exclusion zone at Chernobyl, Ukraine. Meditating on these four fields, Dee makes us look anew at where we live and how. He argues that we must attend to what we have made of the wild, to look at and think about the way we have messed things up but also to notice how we have kept going alongside nature, to listen to the conversation we have had with grass and fields. Four Fields is a profound, lyrical book by one of Britain’s very best writers about nature. Shortlisted for the 2014 Ondaatje Prize
'Fenland Pumping Engines' details the many former drainage engines which powered the wheels and pumps which kept the fens free from flood. The book contains much little known information and photographs, some rare.