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Secure from Rash Assault Sustaining the Victorian Environment

by James Winter

Secure from Rash Assault Sustaining the Victorian Environment Synopsis

Nineteenth-century Britain led the world in technological innovation and urbanization, and unprecedented population growth contributed as well to the rash assault, to quote Wordsworth, on Victorian countrysides. Yet James Winter finds that the British environment was generally spared widespread ecological damage. Drawing from a remarkable variety of sources and disciplines, Winter focuses on human intervention as it not only destroyed but also preserved the physical environment. Industrial blight could be contained, he says, because of Britain's capacity to import resources from elsewhere, the conservative effect of the estate system, and certain intrinsic limitations of steam engines. The rash assault was further blunted by traditional agricultural practices, preservation of forests, and a growing recreation industry that favored beloved landscapes. Winter's illumination of Victorian attitudes toward the exploitation of natural resources offers a valuable preamble to ongoing discussions of human intervention in the environment.

Secure from Rash Assault Sustaining the Victorian Environment Press Reviews

[A] richly detailed, well-researched survey of the impact of industrialization and urbanization on the environment of nineteenth-century Britain. - Patrick Brantlinger, American Historical Review

Book Information

ISBN: 9780520229303
Publication date: 26th February 2002
Author: James Winter
Publisher: University of California Press
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 353 pages
Categories: The environment,

About James Winter

James Winter is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of British Columbia and author of London's Teeming Streets, 1830-1914 (1993).

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