The Vital Landscape: Nature and the Built Environment in Nineteenth-Century Britain

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The Vital Landscape explores the arrival of the biological sciences in the nineteenth century—notably the sciences of "life" entailed in studies of botany and zoology, ecology and evolutionary science, physiology and psychology—and their impact on architecture and landscape architecture in Great Britain. Specifically, the book explores the idea of the contrived or artificial environment as an object of both scientific speculation and aesthetic reflection. Unlike specialist histories of biological science or environmental thought, this book is unique in locating one source for present-day concerns for the environment and human well-being in debates over proper housing and the growing popularity of domestic and public gardens in the nineteenth century. The book skilfully interweaves architecture and garden history, the history and philosophy of science, plant and animal physiology and human psychology, works of literature, popular science and domestic economy in a story that opens new opportunities for the study of architecture and gardens.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAldershot, UK
PublisherAshgate Publishing Limited
Number of pages252
ISBN (Print)0 7546 3069 2
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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