The English Lakes

Overview

With more than twenty million visitors each year, England's Lake District—its dramatic landscape long the inspiration of poets and painters—continues to fascinate and attract people from across Britain and abroad. Author Ian Thompson, who grew up nearby and hiked the region's hills from an early age, proves the perfect guide to the Lake District's storied past.

Thompson's elegant cultural history details how the perception of the region changed, from one of "horrid mountains" to...

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Overview

With more than twenty million visitors each year, England's Lake District—its dramatic landscape long the inspiration of poets and painters—continues to fascinate and attract people from across Britain and abroad. Author Ian Thompson, who grew up nearby and hiked the region's hills from an early age, proves the perfect guide to the Lake District's storied past.

Thompson's elegant cultural history details how the perception of the region changed, from one of "horrid mountains" to "vales of peace," due in large part to the work of Romantic poets William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Robert Southey—later christened the "Lake Poets." The region's reputation was furthered by the landscape paintings of J.M. W. Turner, the writings of John Ruskin, and the illustrated stories of Beatrix Potter. All were drawn to the area's unique charms, and helped make it the treasured place it is today.

Full of fascinating detail and dozens of full-color illustrations—including Thompson's own photographs— The English Lakes is sheer delight for armchair travelers, history-lovers, and Anglophiles.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Elegantly written and sumptuously illustrated." - Chicago Tribune
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608192267
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 10/26/2010
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Ian Thompson was a practicing landscape architect for many years, and currently teaches postgraduate landscape architecture at Newcastle University. He is the author of The Sun King's Garden: Louis XIV, Andre le Notre and the Creation of the Gardens of Versailles. Thompson lives in Gosport, England, with his wife and child.

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Table of Contents

Map

Introduction 1

1 The English Alps

From Defoe's 'horrid mountains' to a Revolution in Taste 19

2 Pathfinders

From Thomas Gray to William Gilpin 31

3 'Settled contentment'

The Lake District of Wordsworth's Youth 47

4 Showmen

'King Pocky' and 'Admiral' Crosthwaite 63

5 Wandering Lonely

Wordsworth Leaves the Lake District 81

6 The Lake Poets

Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey 95

7 Artists among the Lakes

A New Aesthetic Frontier 115

8 The Buttermere Beauty

Mary Robinson, Captain Budworth and the Keswick Impostor 135

9 'Let Nature be all in all'

Wordsworth and the origins of Landscape conservation 153

10 'A Pleasant sort of fear'

The Birth of Fellwalking 171

11 'Speak, passing winds'

The Protest over Railways 185

12 The Sage of Brantwood

John Ruskin Wrestles the Capitalist Dragon 199

13 'Soaped poles in bear gardens'

Rock-climbing Pioneers 215

14 Manchester's Thirst

The Lost Battle of Thirlmere 229

15 A Sort of National Property

Hardwicke Rawnsley and the Formation of the National Trust 245

16 Visions of childhood

Beatrix Potter and Arthur Ransome 259

17 Ramblers

Rights of Way and Alfred Wainwright 279

18 For All the People

The Creation of the National Park 295

Notes 315

Select Bibliography 329

Acknowledgements 333

Index 335

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