Landscape and Englishness

Landscape and Englishness

Landscape and Englishness

Landscape and Englishness

Synopsis

In the papers collected in this volume, Englishness is reflected in the spaces it occupies or dwells in. Broadly influenced by a renewed and growing interest in questions of cultural identity, its emergence in Victorian theories and fictions of nationality, and the new cultural geography, the papers cover a rich variety of spaces and places which have been appropriated for cultural meanings: the rural countryside and farmland of the Home Counties in the early 19th century as Arcadian idyll in Cobbett, as the land to die for in war propaganda, and as nostalgia for a unified, organic English culture in Lawrence, Morton and Priestley's travel writing, but also in the Shell Tourist Guides to motoring in rural England; English moorland; the sacred geographies of monuments in Hardy and others; the traditional seaside deconstructed in Martin Parr's photography, and the sea as English Victorian imperial territory and its symbolic breezes in Froude's travel writing...

Excerpt

Robert Burden

1. Symbolic Spaces and Cultural Realities

The papers collected in this volume represent a selection of work from an international network sharing a common interest in the representations of cultural identity, space and place. the papers were first discussed at three conferences: at esse Zaragosa (September 2004), where we ran a seminar, “Writing Englishness”; at the University of Teesside (December 2004) where we held a one-day conference, “Culture, Landscape, and Environment 1”; and at the University of Würzburg (June 2005) where we held our next one-day conference, “Culture, Landscape, and Environment 2”. We have organised the papers to reflect the broad discussion of landscape and Englishness, beginning with those that focus on the nineteenth century and before, and then moving on to those focusing on the early and mid-twentieth century, ending with work on contemporary British culture. the first two papers are a measure of our desire to be interdisciplinary, the one (Thurgar-Dawson) an example of cultural geography as text analysis, the other (Schubert) an example of cognitive linguistics analysing the semantics of landscape representation. As we say in the preface to the Series, we are attempting to build bridges between the disciplines: literary and cultural studies, linguistics, art history, history and geography – promoting a new interdisciplinary cultural history.

This volume has been broadly influenced by a renewed and growing interest in questions of cultural identity – its emergence in Victorian theories and fictions of nationality (Parrinder) – and the new cultural geography. the papers cover a rich variety of spaces and places which have been appropriated for cultural meanings: the rural countryside and farmland of the “Home Counties” in the early nineteenth century as Arcadian idyll in Cobbett (Pordzik), and as the land to die for in war propaganda (Berberich), and as nostalgia for a uni-

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