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Waterfall: Nature and Culture

Popular Science

Series: Earth Series (Reaktion Books)

By: Brian James Hudson

224 pages, 60 colour & 40 b/w illustrations

Reaktion Books

Paperback | Apr 2012 | #196468 | ISBN-13: 9781861899187
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £14.95 $20/€17 approx

About this book

From Niagara Falls in North America to Angel Falls in Venezuela, Victoria Falls in Africa to Hannoki Falls in Japan, waterfalls provide some of the world's most spectacular scenes. Whether thundering cataracts or exquisite cascades, these astonishing natural wonders attract hordes of visitors each year.

While waterfalls have often been considered in terms of their picturesque or sublime qualities, their rich cultural background has been neglected. In "Waterfall", Brian Hudson portrays these marvels in a new light. He explores the many myths and legends that tumbling rivers and streams have inspired in cultures ranging from Native American to Celtic and Indian, and how they have been described by the poets and depicted in film and music. His examples of paintings by Chinese and Dutch Masters, the Hudson River School in America and in Britain by J.M.W. Turner, Thomas Girtin and others present a fascinating variety of approach and technique in artistic attempts to capture the wonders painters encountered. Waterfalls also influenced landscape architects, for artificial effects featuring cascading water have long been a staple of park, garden and even backyard design. Hudson also discusses the ecology of waterfalls and the conflict that arises from their importance as both a source of hydroelectric power and tourist income in many countries. Countless waterfalls have been sacrificed to `development', and many more are currently under threat, as the demand for energy and water grows.

A superb addition to the library of any nature lover, this beautifully illustrated book is a fascinating look at the history and value of waterfalls.

An evocative, well-researched, beautifully illustrated and many-layered exploration of one of our planet's most compelling natural wonders.
- Margaret Drabble

"'Waterfall' is that rare book on nature, learned and beautifully illustrated, encyclopedic in detail and sweeping in historical, aesthetic, and applied coverage, a "must" not only on the shelf of every nature lover's library, but also--I might add--on his or her coffee table."
- Yi-Fu Tuan, author of "Space and Place"

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Brian J. Hudson has published widely on the subject of waterfalls, including "Waterfalls of Jamaica: Sublime and Beautiful Objects" (2001).

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