Historical geography is an active, theoretically-informed and vibrant field of study within modern geography, with strong interdisciplinary connections with the humanities and the social sciences. The SAGE Handbook of Historical Geography provides an international and in-depth overview of the field with chapters that examine the history, present condition and future significance of historical geography in relation to recent developments and current research. The Handbook is in two volumes, divided across nine parts. Volume One includes commentaries on the history and geography of historical geography, and reviews how historical geographers have considered the appropriation, management and representation of landscape, the changing geographies of property, land, money and financial capital, and the demographic, medical and political analysis of the world's growing and mobile population. Volume Two shows how historical geographers have made significant contributions to geopolitical debates about the relationships between nation-states and empires, to environmental challenges posed by human interaction with the natural world, to studies of the cultural, intellectual and political implications of modern science and technology, and to investigations of communicative action, artefacts, performances and representations. The final part reviews the methodological and ethical challenges of historical geography as a publicly engaged research practice. Part 1: Histories and Geographies; Part 2: Land and Landscapes; Part 3: Property and Money; Part 4: Population and Mobility; Part 5: Territory and Geopolitics; Part 6: Environment and Nature; Part 7: Science and Technology; Part 8: Meaning and Communication; and Part 9: Studies in Practice.

Chapter 28: Nature, Region and the North

Nature, Region and the North

Nature, region and the north
Richard C. Powell

Introduction

Issues of nature and environment have been central themes investigated by historical geographers. A great deal of now canonical work by historical geographers has focused on investigating environmental and landscape change through time. Clifford Darby's (1940) work on the draining of the fens of East Anglia and Michael Williams's (1970) work on the Somerset Levels are two especially notable British examples. Much of this work had a regional focus, and attempted to investigate the relations between environments and their inhabitants in particular places. Indeed, during the second half of the twentieth century, when much of Anglophone geography was preoccupied with attempts at quantification and spatial science, historical geographers were some of the ...

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