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A fascinating handbook providing a rare synthesis of the environmental history of northern Europe from the Paleolithic era to the present day. The Ice Age.... Forest clearance.... Imperial expansion and the world's first industrial nations.... This volume charts the dramatic environmental changes that helped shape northern Europe and provided the ideal conditions for the birth of industry and the growth of powerful empires. Of interest to students and academics alike, this book provides a much needed synthesis of the recent literature on northern Europe's environmental history.
Beginning with the Paleolithic period and the recolonization of Europe after the Ice Age, this book maps out the key environmental trends in the history of the region's environment and its interaction with the human population. The book also highlights how dramatic events outside Europe, such as the Tomboro volcanic eruption in Indonesia in 1815, had dramatic consequences for the region's climate. Of particular interest are the book's sections highlighting how levels of copper and lead production in the Roman Empire were not matched again until the birth of the Industrial Revolution. Given the culturally diverse nature of modern Europe, a vital aspect of the book is its identification of the common themes that unite the interaction of the region's nation-states with the natural environment.