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Sightseeking: Clues to the Landscape History of New England

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Sightseeking: Clues to the Landscape History of New England Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A startlingly original synthesis of keen observation and interpretive skill that will transform one's understanding of New England's man-made landscape.

Synopsis:

How does one read a landscape? Christopher J. Lenney set out to determine whether patterns of linguistic migration in New England were repeated in the everyday features of our man-made landscape. Through inspired conjecture and methodical fieldwork. Lenney discovered that at least six cultural and material artifacts could be mapped into similar flows and clusters: place-names, boundaries, townplans, roads, houses, and gravestones. With infectious enthusiasm and wit, Lenney guides the reader through a historical and cultural examination of how this artificial landscape came to be. By pushing us beyond mere sightseeing to sightseeking, Lenney dares to alter fundamentally the way we--old-time Yankee, newcomer, and tourist alike--experience and interpret the New England landscape.

Synopsis:

How does one read a landscape? Inspired by the classic work of Hans Kurath documenting the dialect geography sub-regions of New England, Christopher J. Lenney set out to determine whether such patterns of linguistic migration were repeated in the everyday features of our man-made landscape. Through inspired conjecture and methodical fieldwork, Lenney discovered that at least six cultural and material artifacts could be mapped into similar flows and clusters: placenames, boundaries, townplans, roads, houses, and gravestones.

With infectious enthusiasm and wit, Lenney guides the reader through a historical and cultural examination of how this artificial landscape came to be. Of the many possible sources of placenames, for example, there are evident patterns of Algoquian and transplanted English; there is the obvious irony of patriot and Tory honored side by side. But what do we make of the apparent hodgepodge of placename suffixes that dot our maps--the -fields, -tons, -hams, and -burys that append themselves to our life and land? And how do we explain the Great-Big line, a dramatic yet invisible scar across the map of Maine?

The other five cultural markers similarly reveal themselves in a surprising patterning of the New England countryside--in the areas where the connected farmstead dominates, where recessed balconies or twin rearwall chimneys distinguish the scene; in the migration of gravestone cutters and their motifs, which left odd undulating waves of artistic expression throughout the region. Lenney forces the reader to reconsider the shape of the village greens, to wonder why old roads go where they go, and to question where (good neighbors and Robert Frost notwithstanding) we built stone walls.

By pushing us beyond mere sightseeing to sightseeking, Lenney dares to fundamentally alter the way we--old-time Yankee, newcomer, and tourist alike--experience and interpret the New England landscape.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781584654636
Author:
Lenney, Christopher J
Publisher:
University Press of New England
Author:
Lenney, Christopher J.
Subject:
General
Subject:
United States - Northeast - New England (General)
Subject:
Earth Sciences - Geography
Subject:
Travel - U.S./New England
Series:
Revisiting New England
Publication Date:
20050231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
376
Dimensions:
8.94x6.04x1.08 in. 1.22 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Americana » New England and Mid Atlantic
History and Social Science » Americana » Northeast
History and Social Science » Geography » General
Travel » North America » United States » New England

Sightseeking: Clues to the Landscape History of New England Used Trade Paper
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Product details 376 pages University Press of New England - English 9781584654636 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , How does one read a landscape? Christopher J. Lenney set out to determine whether patterns of linguistic migration in New England were repeated in the everyday features of our man-made landscape. Through inspired conjecture and methodical fieldwork. Lenney discovered that at least six cultural and material artifacts could be mapped into similar flows and clusters: place-names, boundaries, townplans, roads, houses, and gravestones. With infectious enthusiasm and wit, Lenney guides the reader through a historical and cultural examination of how this artificial landscape came to be. By pushing us beyond mere sightseeing to sightseeking, Lenney dares to alter fundamentally the way we--old-time Yankee, newcomer, and tourist alike--experience and interpret the New England landscape.
"Synopsis" by , How does one read a landscape? Inspired by the classic work of Hans Kurath documenting the dialect geography sub-regions of New England, Christopher J. Lenney set out to determine whether such patterns of linguistic migration were repeated in the everyday features of our man-made landscape. Through inspired conjecture and methodical fieldwork, Lenney discovered that at least six cultural and material artifacts could be mapped into similar flows and clusters: placenames, boundaries, townplans, roads, houses, and gravestones.

With infectious enthusiasm and wit, Lenney guides the reader through a historical and cultural examination of how this artificial landscape came to be. Of the many possible sources of placenames, for example, there are evident patterns of Algoquian and transplanted English; there is the obvious irony of patriot and Tory honored side by side. But what do we make of the apparent hodgepodge of placename suffixes that dot our maps--the -fields, -tons, -hams, and -burys that append themselves to our life and land? And how do we explain the Great-Big line, a dramatic yet invisible scar across the map of Maine?

The other five cultural markers similarly reveal themselves in a surprising patterning of the New England countryside--in the areas where the connected farmstead dominates, where recessed balconies or twin rearwall chimneys distinguish the scene; in the migration of gravestone cutters and their motifs, which left odd undulating waves of artistic expression throughout the region. Lenney forces the reader to reconsider the shape of the village greens, to wonder why old roads go where they go, and to question where (good neighbors and Robert Frost notwithstanding) we built stone walls.

By pushing us beyond mere sightseeing to sightseeking, Lenney dares to fundamentally alter the way we--old-time Yankee, newcomer, and tourist alike--experience and interpret the New England landscape.

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