- Unknown Binding: 240 pages
- Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton (1963)
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0007J8UZ6
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,854,301 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The making of the English landscape (The making of the English landscape)
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Top Customer Reviews
My only criticism is that in the final chapter Hoskins descends into some rather despondent criticism of change during his lifetime. Though many might agree about the insensitivity of post-war 'development', it's a shame that he couldn't see this to some extent in historical perspective, comparing it perhaps with the 'vandalism' of earlier townscapes by Georgian then Victorian developers. Not everything that happened to the landscape in the 20th Century was bad, though one can understand the concern of a historian that too much of the record was being lost, too quickly.
Buy this book, read it carefully and quietly and you might see your surroundings with new eyes. But to see the landscape as Hoskins saw it, you'll have to get out of the car and walk, stop, take your time, look, look again and be curious about what you see.
I bought it in the 1970s Pelican edition when I came across it recently in a second-hand bookshop, largely for the purposes of comparison with Oliver Rackham's more recent work "The History of the Countryside". The two works cover slightly different ground. Hoskins (as his title indicates) limits himself to England, and does not touch on Wales, Scotland or Ireland; Rackham covers the whole of the British Isles, although in practice he deals with England in greater detail than the other three countries. Rackham (as his title indicates) confines himself to the countryside, whereas Hoskins also covers industrial and urban landscapes, and even in rural areas deals with villages and the built environment as well as woods and farmland. Their methodologies are also different. Rackham devotes a chapter to each different type of rural habitat- woodland, fields, heathland, moorland, marshes, etc, whereas Hoskins' book is written in chronological order from prehistoric times to the twentieth century.
A key moment for Professor Hoskins was what he calls the "English Settlement"- the coming of the Anglo-Saxon invaders in the fifth century AD, after the withdrawal of the Roman legions. Few features of the modern English landscape can, in his view, be attributed to the Roman or pre-Roman period. Each succeeding age, however, has left a mark which still survives.Read more ›
I bought it in the Kindle version, which makes it impossible to appreciate the book properly as you cannot browse it. Buy the paper version.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It goes without saying that this is a classic of the genre, and one of the few books I retain from my days as a student - over 35 years ago! Read morePublished 4 months ago by MJP
One of dozen or so books on English history that everyone should read. The prose flows across the landscape, and the perspective (from 1955) retains its relevance today. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Charliecoffee
This was a boom I was using when I was studying Geography and History. This really fascinated me.Published 13 months ago by MissLP
This is a review of the 1988 edition that has an introduction and continuous commentary on Hoskins’s text by Christopher Taylor. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Nicholas Casley
I bought two!This is one of my all time favourite books which I am giving as presents.Published on 3 Dec. 2014 by cloche