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Making Sense of an Historic Landscape$
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Stephen Rippon

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199533787

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199533787.001.0001

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‘The most beautiful landskip in the world’? The perceived character of landscape

‘The most beautiful landskip in the world’? The perceived character of landscape

(p.35) 3 ‘The most beautiful landskip in the world’? The perceived character of landscape
Making Sense of an Historic Landscape

Stephen Rippon

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines how writers in the past perceived the different pays of the regional study area. It starts with the sixteenth-century topographers, John Leland and William Camden; then moves on the seventeenth century with the views of both national travellers, such as Celia Fiennes and Daniel Defoe, as well as a number of local writers. For the eighteenth century it considers the qualitative accounts of local topographers, along with reports to the Board of Agriculture by the likes of Charles Vancouver which provide a national perspective. The chapter concludes by exploring how local communities may have perceived their landscape as reflected in folklore. A key question is to ask whether the pays that can be identified based on modern cartographic sources have had any reality in the past. The very clear answer is that they did.

Keywords:   landscape character, topographers, John Leland, William Camden, travellers, Celia Fiennes, Daniel Defoe, Charles Vancouver, folklore

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