Four Centuries of Special Geography
An Annotated Guide to Books that Purport to Describe All the Countries in the World Published...
Geography as an academic discipline dates back to the last fewdecades of the nineteenth century. However, during the precedingcenturies a large body of English-language literature relevant to thefield of special geography was published. Four Centuries of SpecialGeography lists all the works published before 1888 and includesdescriptions of each entry and notes on later editions.
Francis Sitwell has written an extensive introduction in which heprovides a detailed guide to the organization and contents of thebibliography. He also evaluates special geography as a genre whichcontributed to scholarly discourse from the sixteenth to the nineteenthcenturies. In addition, he examines the genre as a whole and discussesits relation to the evolving world of ideas during the same timeperiod.
The result of several years of data-gathering, this book will be avaluable research tool for anyone seeking to examine aspects of thedevelopment of the field of geography in the years before it wasdefined as a distinct academic discipline. It will also be useful tothose whose research focuses on the acquisition and transmission ofgeographical knowledge prior to the twentieth century, in particular onthe place of geography in educational curricula.
In the era of research assessment exercises, when it is all too easy to believe that rapidity and quantity of publication are what matter, it is a pleasure to come across a book which has been a long time in the making and which demonstrates the continued existence of the sort of scholarship for which universities have always been justly renowned ... For those interested in the history of one aspect of their discipline, and in its educational context, it will be an invaluable source, for which Francis Sitwell will be thanked many times over.
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Codes and Abbreviations
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