British geography 1500–1900

David N. Livingstone

in A Century of British Geography

Published by British Academy

Published in print September 2003 | ISBN: 9780197262863
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734076 | DOI:

Series: British Academy Centenary Monographs

British geography 1500–1900

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This chapter presents an impressionistic, and thus imprecise, sketch of the history of British geography from 1500 to 1900. Over these 400 years, British geography has assumed many different forms in many different arenas. Whether as a species of natural philosophy and mathematics, as a form of regional portraiture, as overseas lore, or expeditionary travel; whether in universities curricula or at royal courts, in school texts or learned societies; whether as a vehicle of national and local identity or as a channel of imperial desire: geography has been inextricably intertwined with the social, intellectual, political and religious history of the British Isles.

Keywords: British geography; history; universities; royal courts; travel; natural philosophy; mathematics; learned societies; British Isles

Chapter.  14980 words. 

Subjects: Population and Demography

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