People have always attached meaning to the landscape that surrounds them. In Storied Ground Paul Readman uncovers why landscape matters so much to the English people, exploring its particular importance in shaping English national identity amid the transformations of modernity. The book takes us from the fells of the Lake District to the uplands of Northumberland; from the streetscapes of industrial Manchester to the heart of London. This panoramic journey reveals the significance, not only of the physical characteristics of landscapes, but also of the sense of the past, collective memories and cultural traditions that give these places their meaning. Between the late eighteenth and early twentieth centuries, Englishness extended far beyond the pastoral idyll of chocolate-box thatched cottages, waving fields of corn and quaint country churches. It was found in diverse locations - urban as well as rural, north as well as south - and it took strikingly diverse forms.
Table of Contents
Introduction; Part I. Borders: 1. The cliffs of Dover; 2. The Northumbrian borderland; Part II. Preservation: 3. The Lake District; 4. The New Forest; Part III. Beyond the South Country: 5. Manchester: shock landscape?; 6. The Thames; Conclusion.