Catalogue


Secure from rash assault [electronic resource] : sustaining the Victorian environment /
James Winter.
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c1999.
description
xi, 342 p.: ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0520216091 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c1999.
isbn
0520216091 (alk. paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
8059676
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 261-332) and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"This book is both learned and readable, at once an environmental, economic, and technological history. Actually about the whole length and breadth of Britain, it is never so technical that a lay reader gets lost and never so accommodating that it flattens the complexities of his subjects."--Michael Dintenfass, author ofThe Decline of Industrial Britain 1870-1980
Flap Copy
"This book is both learned and readable, at once an environmental, economic, and technological history. Actually about the whole length and breadth of Britain, it is never so technical that a lay reader gets lost and never so accommodating that it flattens the complexities of his subjects."--Michael Dintenfass, author of The Decline of Industrial Britain 1870-1980
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2000-02:
Winter is an inspiration for those historians old enough to be the parents of their junior colleagues. In his mid-70s he has written an elegant, provocative book that makes a contrary-minded contribution to a new field. For historians living in North America, environmental history often has meant books about the arid lands of the West, vast and lightly populated. Winter looks instead at 19th-century Britain, a small, crowded, and decidedly damp island. In the title he quotes Wordsworth's lament over the construction of a railroad in the Lake District ("is then no nook of English ground secure from rash assault?") The historian is much more optimistic than the poet. The book's subtitle challenges the widespread assumption, then and now, that during the 19th century the British people debased the natural environment through industrialization and its agricultural counterpart. In a series of short chapters (some with eye-catching names like "Holes," "Heaps," and "The Hungry Ocean"), Winter argues the contrary, i.e., that much of what the Victorians did helped preserve the environment. For instance, slow-to-change landlords protected the land by reactionary-minded estate management. General readers; upper-division undergraduates and above. D. M. Fahey; Miami University
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, February 2000
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Long Description
Nineteenth-century Britain led the world in technological innovation and urbanization, and unprecedented population growth contributed as well to the "rash assault," to quote Wordsworth, on Victorian countrysides. Yet James Winter finds that the British environment was generally spared widespread ecological damage. Drawing from a remarkable variety of sources and disciplines, Winter focuses on human intervention as it not only destroyed but also preserved the physical environment. Industrial blight could be contained, he says, because of Britain's capacity to import resources from elsewhere, the conservative effect of the estate system, and certain intrinsic limitations of steam engines. The rash assault was further blunted by traditional agricultural practices, preservation of forests, and a growing recreation industry that favored beloved landscapes. Winter's illumination of Victorian attitudes toward the exploitation of natural resources offers a valuable preamble to ongoing discussions of human intervention in the environment.
Main Description
Secure From Rash Assault is a study of how Victorian Britain was successful in preserving a balance between change and continuity in the physical environment at a time of rapid industrial and technological changes.
Table of Contents
Preface
Introduction
Innovation and Continuity
The Cultural Landscape
Lowland Fields
Upland Moors
Woods and Trees
Cutting New Channels
Holes
Heaps
The City in the Country
Greening the City
The Environment of Leisure
The Hungry Ocean
Conclusion
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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