The Women Who Saved the English Countryside Matthew Kelly

Format:
Hardback
Publication date:
12 Apr 2022
ISBN:
9780300232240
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
320 pages: 156 x 234mm
Illustrations:
16 b-w illus.

In Britain today, a mosaic of regulations protects the natural environment and guarantees public access to green spaces. But this was not always so. Over the last 150 years, activists have campaigned tirelessly for the right to roam through the countryside and the vital importance of preserving Britain’s natural beauty.
 
Matthew Kelly traces the history of landscape preservation through the lives of four remarkable women: Octavia Hill, Beatrix Potter, Pauline Dower, and Sylvia Sayer. From the commons of London to the Lake District, Northumberland, and Dartmoor, these women protected the English landscape at a crucial period through a mixture of environmental activism, networking, and sheer determination.
 
They grappled with the challenges that urbanization and industrial modernity posed to human well-being as well as the natural environment. By tirelessly seeking to reconcile the needs of particular places to the broader public interest they helped re-imagine the purpose of the English countryside for the democratic age.

Matthew Kelly is professor of modern history at Northumbria University. He is the author of Finding Poland: From Tavistock to Hurzdowa and Back Again and Quartz and Feldspar: Dartmoor—A British Landscape in Modern Times.