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Dreadful Visitations : Confronting Natural Catastrophe in the Age of Enlightenment - Alessa Johns

Dreadful Visitations

Confronting Natural Catastrophe in the Age of Enlightenment

Hardcover

Published: 15th July 1999
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Throughout history, varying responses to catastrophe have revealed much about a society's cultural and philosophical character. In "Dreadful Visitations," leading scholars of different disciplines examine eighteenth-century responses to natural disaster, showing how human agency played an active role in the creation of destructive circumstances, and how these disasters helped to establish national and moral identities in the Age of Reason.
Contributors: David Arnold, Daniel Gordon, Carla Hesse, George Starr, Alan Taylor, Steven Tobriner and Charles Walker.

"Interdisplinary in approach, it succeeds well in its aim to capture the global impact of global catastrophies that shook the modern world. This text broadens our historical horizons considerably, offering a richer understanding of the itneraction between cultures." -Lindsay Wilson, Northern Arizona University "How 'enlightened' was the Enlightenment? Natural cataclysm was the dark mirror into which eighteenth-century Europeans preferred not to gaze. When they did--as these brilliant case studies show--the gods of optimism did not smile back at them." -Mike Davis, author of "Ecology of Fear and "City of Quartz ""Dreadful Visitations offers a series of outstanding case studies that explore the bonds between European societies and colonial territories, and the endurance of faith in an age of reason and profit. This is a marvelous example of the virtues of comparative history." -Paula Findlen, author of "Possessing Nature, Stanford University "The authors of "Dreadful Visitations skilfully analyze disasters, their preconditions, their impacts, and how people interpret them to reveal fundamental social, ideological and material features of society. From the analysis of literary texts to architectural history to reconstruction narratives, the book is filled with information and insights for advancing theory. "Dreadful Visitations should prove extremely valuable for both social scientists and historians concerned with the impact disasters have on society." -Anthony Oliver-Smith, author of "The Martyred City: Death and Rebirth in the Andes and editor of "Natural Disasters and Cultural Responses, University of Florida "As this volume makes clear, natural disastersare rarely wholly "natural," but are the products of human agency as well. The essays in this marvellous collection emphasize the cultural response of Europeans--at home and abroad--to disaster in an age when events formerly seen as the handiwork of an angry God were being questioned. Anyone interested in topics from social history to environmental studies will find much of value here." -Stuart Schwartz, author of "Slaves, Peasants, and Rebels: Reconsidering Brazilian Slavery, Yale University

List of Illustrationsp. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. xi
European Responses to Catastrophe
Confrontations with the Plague in Eighteenth-Century Francep. 3
Defoe and Disastersp. 31
Safety and Reconstruction of Noto after the Sicilian Earthquake of 1693--The Eighteenth-Century Contextp. 49
Colonial Perspectives and New World Calamities
Hunger in the Garden of Plenty: The Bengal Famine of 1770p. 81
Shaking the Unstable Empire: The Lima, Quito, and Arequipa Earthquakes, 1746, 1783, and 1797p. 113
"The Hungry Year": 1789 on the Northern Border of Revolutionary Americap. 145
Afterwordp. 183
Contributorsp. 191
Indexp. 193
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780415921756
ISBN-10: 0415921759
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 222
Published: 15th July 1999
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.57 x 15.7  x 2.16
Weight (kg): 0.49
Edition Number: 1