In "The Making of the British Landscape", eminent historian, archaeologist and farmer, Francis Pryor explains how to read these clues to understand the fascinating history of our land and of how people have lived on it throughout time. Covering both the urban and rural and packed with pictures, maps and drawings showing everything from how we can still pick out Bronze Age fields on Bodmin Moor to how the Industrial Revolution really changed our landscape, this book makes us look afresh at our surroundings and really see them for the first time.
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The Making of the British Landscape (Francis Pryor) - review
To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Making of the British Landscape , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about The Making of the British Landscape. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Nov 03, 4triplezed rated it it was amazing Shelves: I have a personally signed copy that I purchased during a visit to Flag Fen. Now to get around to reading the damn thing. And get around to reading the damned thing I have so with that all I can say is what a fantastic read.
In chronological order Pryor has presented an excellent general reading of the ever changing British landscape. Easy to read with clear and concise case studies in each and every chapter this is a very good book indeed. From the end of the Ice age through to the modern issue I have a personally signed copy that I purchased during a visit to Flag Fen. From the end of the Ice age through to the modern issues of the building of Motorways and shopping centres Pryor has delved into all areas. From plague to town planning he has shown a Britain of human intervention in just about every part of its landscape.
He has backed his prose with fantastic colour plates and illustrations throughout.
For what he presented in the preface as a general study Pryor has done a remarkable job on what is a huge subject. What I also liked was the personal opinions he put in to the writing. One can feel his passion for the subject, a newish subject for himself as he readily admits. Chapter 15 Sat Nav Britain: What Future for the Landscape was full of his passionate opinions and agree or disagree I would suggest it is no bad thing at all that Britain has someone of his standing making the issues known.
Prior to reading this book my thoughts of Landscape as a subject tended towards the rural aspects of life, think of a Constable painting for example. I had never really put the term Landscape into how humans made it what it was, be that either rural or urban or from agricultural through to industrial. This book has changed the way I look at my surrounds, what I see on a day to day basis be that going for a morning walk in my local forest or taking my car to the shopping centre.
To have such a sudden profound influence on my everyday viewing of my surrounds is no mean feat. This is as influential a book on me personally that I have ever read. The crazy thing is that I am an infrequent visitor to Britain, living in Brisbane Queensland Australia. That on my next visit I would be looking for a battered old paperback copy to take with me.
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But what else I thought after could one take. Pryor has, at the end of the book, added a two page chapter called Books to keep in the car boot. What a great resource. As mentioned not being in Britain it has made me think that there is a need for similar book about my local surrounds. If I could find anything even half as good as this I would be very happy indeed. With that thought I think that it is books like this that makes Britain so attractive to the visitor.
There have been a long list of authors who write with great insight and passion about its history and its landscape. I would add anything by Francis Pryor to that long list. Atlas of the Civil War Stephen G. Ships, Clocks, and Stars Richard Dunn. Principles of Geology Charles Lyell. Psychedelic Sex Paul Krassner. Nature's Metropolis William Cronon.
Atlas of Beer Garrett Oliver. American Nations Colin Woodard.
Paths to the Past Francis Pryor. Mapping the Nation Margaret Wilkes. Position Doubtful Kim Mahood. Big Dead Place Aaron Abano. The Cartographic State Jordan Branch. The Silk Roads Peter Frankopan. Geographies of Developing Areas Glyn Williams. Contested Territory Heidi V. Review Text Pryor is that rare combination of a first-rate working archaeologist and a good writer, with the priceless ability of being able to explain complex ideas clearly. Covering "landscape" in the broadest sense, The Making of the British Landscape is a multidisciplinary history of Britain's geography, rural and urban, from earliest human settlement down to the present, from Flag Fen to Spaghetti Junction.
Pryor is a sheep-farmer and an archaeologist "whose expertise lies in the earlier third millennium BC" , but he draws on social history, ecology, geography, urban planning, economic history, and a range of other disciplines as well.
As the very first line of the preface confirms, Pryor's title looks back at Hoskins' The Making of the English Landscape. He follows that in attempting to paint a big picture on a large canvas, but he includes a lot more detail and is more hard-headed and less romantic. The seven hundred pages of text is divided into fifteen chronological chapters the early modern period and the nineteenth century get two chapters each, with rural and urban landscapes treated separately.
The basic units of The Making of the British Landscape , however, are the sections within chapters, typically four to ten pages long, which tackle distinct topics and are largely self-contained.
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So chapter 11, "From Plague to Prosperity: Townscapes in Early Modern Times " has sections "London: