Rural settings, national identity and British silent cinema
Silent landscapes: rural settings, national
identity and British silent cinema
Landscape and national cinema
Since the beginnings of cinema in the 1890s, landscape has played a crucial role
in the development of British national cinema. A sense of national specificity
in British films has been asserted in part through the representation of particular types of place, and through presenting such places in particular ways. From
short scenic films in the late 1890s and early 1900s to the heritage films of the
late twentieth and early twenty
Sir Walter Scott and the Hudson River School of Painting
Kerry Dean Carso
This essay examines the influence of Sir Walter Scott‘s historical romances on the artists of the Hudson River School of American landscape painting. Scotts writings inspired paintings of medieval castles, fictional and actual, as well as scenery related to Scott‘s life and literary works. Many American artists visited these sites first-hand and painted or sketched them, providing a visual record of the tourist experience of Great Britain.That so many American artists engaged in painting castles suggests the paradoxical nature of American culture in the nineteenth century, when commentators clamored for a uniquely American culture, even while American authors and artists copied or borrowed from European culture. Castles function as perhaps the ultimate European signifier in otherwise generalized landscapes. This essay argues that those American artists who included castles in the landscape gave American culture a modicum of legitimacy in an era of rising American nationalism.
Unfolding Irish landscapes offers a comprehensive and sustained study of the work of cartographer, landscape writer and visual artist Tim Robinson. The visual texts and multi-genre essays included in this book, from leading international scholars in Irish Studies, geography, ecology, environmental humanities, literature and visual culture, explore Robinson’s writing, map-making and art. Robinson’s work continues to garner significant attention not only in Ireland, but also in the United Kingdom, Europe and North America, particularly with the recent celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of his monumental Stones of Aran: pilgrimage. Robert Macfarlane has described Robinson’s work in Ireland as ‘one of the most sustained, intensive and imaginative studies of a landscape that has ever been carried out’. It is difficult to separate Robinson the figure from his work and the places he surveys in Ireland – they are intertextual and interconnected. This volume explores some of these characteristics for both general and expert readers alike. As individual studies, the essays in this collection demonstrate disciplinary expertise. As parts of a cohesive project, they form a collective overview of the imaginative sensibility and artistic dexterity of Robinson’s cultural and geographical achievements in Ireland. By navigating Robinson’s method of ambulation through his prose and visual creations, this book examines topics ranging from the politics of cartography and map-making as visual art forms to the cultural and environmental dimensions of writing about landscapes.
In recent decades, spatiality—the consideration of what it means to be situated in space and place—has become a key concept in understanding human behavior and cultural production across the disciplines. Texts produced by and about the medieval Irish contain perhaps the highest concentration of spatial writing in the wider medieval European milieu, and only in Ireland was a distinct genre of placelore formalized. As Mulligan shows, Ireland provides an extensively documented example of a culture that took a pre-modern ‘spatial turn’ and developed influential textual models through which audiences, religious and secular, in Ireland and Europe, could engage with landscapes near and far. Ireland’s peripheral geographic position, widespread monastic practices of self-imposed exile and nomadism, and early experiences of English colonialism required strategies for maintaining a place-based identity while undergoing dispossession from ancestral lands. These cultural developments, combined with the early establishment of Latin and vernacular literary institutions, primed the Irish to create and implement this poetics of place. A landscape of words traces the trajectory of Irish place-writing through close study of the ‘greatest hits’ of (and about) medieval Ireland—Adomnán’s De locis sanctis, Navigatio Sancti Brendani, vernacular voyage tales, Táin Bó Cualnge, Acallam na Senórach, the Topographia and Expugnatio Hibernica of Gerald of Wales, and Anglo-Latin accounts of Saint Patrick’s Purgatory. A landscape of words provides rigorous source analysis in support of new ways of understanding medieval Irish literature, landscape and place-writing that will be essential reading for scholars on medieval Ireland and Britain. Mulligan also writes for non-specialist students and researchers working on the European Middle Ages, travel and pilgrimage, spatial literature, and Irish and British history and culture, and allows a wide readership to appreciate the extensive impact of medieval Irish spatial discourse.
Writing in 1853, Mansfield Parkyns
provided a perceptive insight into the difficulty of describing newly
encountered landscapes: ‘A description of things so totally
different from what we are accustomed to, as everything in these
romantic countries is, cannot help losing its African feeling and
becoming Anglicised, first by an English description, secondly and
enter the European cultural bloodstream. Representations came in many
forms, from published travelogues and the printed illustrations that
accompanied them to individual images and archival accounts of personal
experiences in the landscape. Published works are inflected by the
expectations of the reading audience to whom they are directed.
Archives, on the other hand, are often plumbed to their depths for what
British Rural Landscapes on Film offers wide-ranging critical insights into ways in which rural areas in Britain have been represented on film, from the silent era, through both world wars, and on into the contemporary period. The contributors to the book demonstrate that the countryside in Britain has provided a range of rich and dense spaces into which aspects of contested cultural identities have been projected. The essays in the book show how far British rural landscapes have performed key roles in a range of film genres including heritage, but also horror, art cinema, and children’s films. Films explored include Tawny Pipit (1944), A Canterbury Tale (1944), The Go-Between (1970), Blood on Satan’s Claw (1971), Another Time, Another Place (1983), On the Black Hill (1987), Wuthering Heights (2011), Jane Eyre (2011), and the Harry Potter and Nanny McPhee films. The book also includes new interviews with the filmmakers Gideon Koppel and Patrick Keiller. By focusing solely on rural landscapes, and often drawing on critical insight from art history and cultural geography, this book aims to transform our understanding of British cinema.
, within the context of nineteenth-century British colonialism and imperialism the viewing of landscape moved from functioning as an aesthetic stance to being one of surveying and claiming, particularly for male travellers and settlers. However, this surveying stance is not unequivocally one of power and mastery as has often been claimed within post-colonial theory. As can be seen from the above poem by Susanna Moodie, women settlers can also see the colonised land as needing to be cleared to make it productive.
Landscape and wilderness
A new scientific landscape
In 1894, professor Paul Heger made a well-received announcement to
the Brussels Society of Medical and Natural Sciences. The banker Léon
Lambert and several of his acquaintances in the Brussels financial and
industrial elite had made a donation of 10,600 Fr to the new Institute
of Hygiene, Bacteriology and Therapeutics.1 After Heger had explained
that the gift would be used to set up a vaccination service against diphtheria, a discussion was started on the recent progress made in bacteriology. If laboratory science was sometimes
PASTORAL, LANDSCAPE, PLACE . . .
Definitions of pastoral?
Can ‘pastoral’ as both a super-rarefied genre-form and a historical political vehicle – of a problematic variety – have any relevance in the age of
factory farming, consciousness of land destruction, cloning, genetic
modification, pesticides, herbicides, the citification of the rural, and
the de-landing and disenfranchisement of indigenous communities
(nomadic, agrarian, civic, urban, etc.)? Traditionally, pastoral worked as
a vehicle of empowerment for the educated classes through the idyllicising and