The Practice of Landscape History

  • Richard Muir
Chapter

Abstract

Landscape study is uniquely appealing. It has its obvious and much-explored aesthetic dimension, but it also offers intellectual challenges of the most testing kind to engage the problem-solving skills of the landscape historian. Although there are various different approaches to the study of landscape, whether landscape is approached from an aesthetic, cultural, psychological or political perspective, it seems hard to justify any approach which does not require of its followers a basic understanding of landscape origins and formation. Just as art historians engage in studies in depth of artists, their personalities and formative influences as well as the topographical, social, economic and political environments of their existences, so it seems reasonable to presume that all serious students of landscape should have a basic understanding of the physical and cultural processes of landscape creation. Because of the immense inequalities between landscape research accomplished in different parts of the world, in this chapter most examples are derived from the UK, which contains the most intensely researched countrysides, while North American material is also introduced, particularly for the purposes of comparison and contrast.

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© Richard Muir 1999

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  • Richard Muir

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