In the Nature of LandscapeCultural Geography on the Norfolk Broads
RGS-IBG Book Series 1. Aufl.
In the Nature of Landscape presents regional cultural landscape as a new direction for research in cultural geography. Represents the first cultural geographic study of the Norfolk Broads region of eastern England Addresses regional cultural landscape through consideration of narratives of landscape origin, debates over human conduct, the animal and plant landscapes of the region, and visions of the ends of landscape through pollution and flood Draws upon in-depth original research, spanning almost two decades of archival work, interviews, and field study Covers a great diversity of topics, from popular culture to scientific research, folk song to holiday diaries, planning survey to pioneering photography, and ornithology to children’s literature Features a variety of illustrative material, including original photographs, paintings, photography, advertising imagery, scientific diagrams, maps, and souvenirs
Series Editors’ Preface vi List of Illustrations vii Preface and Acknowledgements ix List of Abbreviations xii 1 Cultural Geography on the Norfolk Broads 1 2 Origins 39 3 Conduct 55 Icon I: Wherry 96 4 Animal Landscapes 106 5 Plant Landscapes 142 Icon II: Windmill 173 6 The Ends of Landscape 182 7 Concluding 215 Notes 224 References 238 Index 270
David Matless is Professor of Cultural Geography at the University of Nottingham. He is the author of Landscape and Englishness (1998), editor of Geographies of British Modernity (2003) and The Place of Music (1998), and contributor to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
In the Nature of Landscape presents regional cultural landscape as a new direction for research in cultural geography through an in-depth study of the Norfolk Broads, a wetland region in eastern England whose geography and history have been shaped for centuries by cohabiting and conflicting interests. Ideas of region, culture and landscape have been comprehensively re-theorised in recent decades, and are here brought together to produce a new understanding of the Broads in particular, and landscape in general. Contests over the region—from disputes over the origin of the broads (lakes) in the flooding of medieval peat diggings to projections of regional loss in a future of sea level rise under climate change—are addressed. Chapters pursue different dimensions of landscape, interweaving theoretical argument and in-depth empirical research to analyse narratives of landscape origin, debates over human conduct, animal and plant landscapes, and the spectre of the end of landscape through pollution and flood. An emphasis on different voices which have sought to speak for the region—from naturalists, tourists, planners and painters, to photographers, film-makers, folk singers and geographers—reveals the colloquial nature of landscape. By presenting an original cultural geographic study of a specific region, In the Nature of Landscape offers illuminating insights into the broader value and meaning of landscape in the 21st century.
‘A startlingly original work, conjuring a ‘deep map’ and vivid portrait of the Norfolk Broads, and suggesting wholly new approaches to the study and writing of regional geography. This is an important contribution to the field that in its range of themes, broad and inclusive perspectives, and the rigour of its critical attention will surely be emulated elsewhere.’ Mike Pearson, Leverhulme Research Fellow and Professor of Performance Studies, Aberystwyth University, UK ‘In this book, one of the best writers in geography today offers us an original and exciting understanding of landscape as a colloquium of voices and accents. We hear the Norfolk Broads in the official and the vernacular, the technical and the theatrical, the sober and the eccentric. As we read, the author himself is revealed as a key element of the landscape – not a histrionic presence, but a circumspect vantage-point and a virtuoso ear.’ John Wylie, Professor of Cultural Geography, University of Exeter, UK
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