How much do we really know about the place we call 'home'? In this sweeping, timely book, Nicholas Crane tells the story of Britain. The British landscape has been continuously occupied by humans for 12,000 years, from the end of the Ice Age to the twenty-first century. It has been transformed from 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. The twin drivers of landscape change - climate and population - have arguably wielded as much influence on our habitat as monarchs and politics. From tsunamis and farming to Roman debacles and industrial cataclysms, from henge to high-rise and hamlet to metropolis, this is a book about change and adaptation. AS Britain lurches from an exploitative past towards a more sustainable future, this is the story of our age.
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.
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.
*****FANS OF THE EXPLOSIVE BBC TV SERIES 'GUNPOWDER' STARRING KIT HARRINGTON will love the bestselling John Shakespeare series of Tudor spy thrillers from Rory Clements, winner of the Ellis Peters Historical Fiction Award***** '[Clements] does for Elizabeth's reign what CJ Sansom does for Henry VIII's' Sunday Times ********** England may have survived the Armada threat of 1588, but when Spanish galleys land troops in Cornwall on a lightning raid seven years later, is it a dry-run for a new invasion? Revenge for the sacking of Spanish shipping and ports? A warning shot to Drake and Hawkins? Or is there, perhaps, a more sinister motive? The Queen is speechless with rage at Spain's temerity. Sir Robert Cecil demands answers. But as John Shakespeare tries to get a grip on events, England's secret defences begin to unravel as one by one his network of spies is horribly murdered. But what has all this to do with Thomasyn Jade, a girl driven to the edge of madness by the foul rituals of exorcism? And what is the link to a group of priests held prisoner in the bleak confines of Wisbech Castle? From the pain-wracked torture rooms of the Inquisition in Seville to the marshy wastes of fenland, from the wild coasts of Cornwall to the sweat and sawdust of the Elizabethan playhouses, and from the condemned cell at Newgate to the devilish stench of brimstone and fear as demons are driven out by unspeakable means, THE HERETICS builds to a terrifying climax that threatens the life of the Queen herself.
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.
Brit Bennett gilt als das Wunderkind der neuesten US-Literatur. Aus dem Stand sprang die 26-jährige Afroamerikanerin mit ihrem ersten Roman an die Spitze der Bestsellerliste. Sie wurde für den PEN-Award nominiert und erntete begeisterte Kritiken; zuletzt kündigte Warner Bros. die Verfilmung an. «Die Mütter», so nennen sich die alten Frauen in der kleinen kalifornischen Gemeinde Oceanside. Sie sind Zeugen des Skandals, mit dem dieser Roman beginnt. Ein Skandal ist es, wenigstens aus ihrer Perspektive: Dass Nadia Turner, deren Mutter sich das Leben genommen hat, mit Luke, dem Sohn des Pastors ... Dass Nadia Turner ein Baby bekommt ... Oder vielmehr beschließt, es nicht zu bekommen. Und das ist erst der Anfang der Geschichte, der Anfang einer Geschichte voller Zuneigung und Komplikationen. Nadia kehrt der Kleinstadtenge bald den Rücken, sie geht aufs College, bereist die Welt. Aubrey, ihre beste Freundin, bleibt und stellt sich auf ihre Weise gegen den Chor der alten Frauen, deren Stimmen über die Jahre merklich auseinandergehen. Es dauert nicht lange und sie feiern ein neues Paar in Oceanside: Aubrey und Luke Sheppard. Und das beschäftigt die heimgekehrte Nadia mehr, als sie vor der besten Freundin zugeben kann. Brit Bennett fragt nach dem, was uns hält und was uns bindet, mit allem Respekt und der nötigen Respektlosigkeit. Und sie erzählt von Herkunft, Hautfarbe, Geschlecht in einer Gelassenheit, die staunen macht: ein lebenskluger Roman über das Amerika von heute und das Amerika von morgen.