Academic journal article Geography

Islands: Nature and Culture

Academic journal article Geography

Islands: Nature and Culture

Article excerpt

Islands: Nature and culture Stephen A. Royle London: Reaktion Books, 2014 224pp, 15x21cm, Pb: £14.95 ISBN 978-1-78023-346-8

When I first met Stephen Royle - at a 1999 conference in Torshavn, Faroe Islands - I was immediately taken by the richness of the photographs that peppered his presentation slides - a detail that rose in significance when Royle humbly admitted that most of them were actually his own. The habit continues: practically half the photos reproduced in Islands: Nature and culture are the author's.

This detail says a lot about Royle's latest and possibly best ever book. His photography charts his journey across the world's archipelago, outlining so many interesting features of human and natural life. These include evolution, depopulation, emigration, invasion, experimentation, cultural expression and tourism. The issues unfold, and/or are captured and represented so vividly in literature or film, in ways that are so spectacularly different on islands (especially smaller ones), that they justify why we need to be aware of 'islandness' in all its nuances, and how it affects social and natural life. …

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