Ruskin and Environment: The Storm-Cloud of the Nineteenth Century

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9780719043772: Ruskin and Environment: The Storm-Cloud of the Nineteenth Century

The authors of this collection examine a wide variety of environmental issues in the work of the great Victorian polymath, John Ruskin, and argue that his prophetic writings speak to our generation as much as his own. Best known today as an art critic and social theorist, John Ruskin (1819-1900) was also an acute observer and recorder of the natural environment, and of the impact of Victorian industrialisation and urbanisation upon it. He argued passionately against railways and tourism, river pollution and acid rain, and as passionately for the restoration and care of ancient buildings and improved sanitation in urban slums. Each of these aspects of the environment is examined in eight, specially commissioned essays: from the "Mappa mundi" to the politics of recycling, from the railways to the National Trust. Whether drawing the Alps, or lecturing in his most prophetic mode on "The stormcloud of the 19th century", Ruskin's insights are as relevant at the end of this century as they ever were in the last.

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