The Culture of Islands and the History of Environmental Concern

  • Richard GroveEmail author


This chapter argues for the long history of environmental anxieties emerging in the context of the exploitation of colonies by European empires and not in the USA or metropolitan Europe. Drawing on examples from the USA, India, the Caribbean, South Africa and oceanic islands such as Mauritius and St. Helena, and building on pioneering research, it makes a persuasive case for the origins of a Western environmental consciousness and a conservation agenda emerging out of the destruction of the tropical environment in the colonies and a new valuing of the landscape on its own terms. By highlighting scientific networks and the emergence of post-Newtonian climatic environmentalism, it outlines the beginnings of a global, embryonic, environmental consciousness.


Climatic environmentalism Colonialism Desiccation Environmental history Mauritius St. Helena 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SussexBrightonUK

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