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Nature's Mutiny

How the Little Ice Age Transformed the West and Shaped the Present

Philipp Blom



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03 February 2020
'Europe where the sun dares scarce appear For freezing meteors and congealed cold.' Christopher Marlowe In this innovative and compelling work of environmental history, Philipp Blom chronicles the great climate crisis of the 1600s, a crisis that would transform the entire social and political fabric of Europe.

While hints of a crisis appeared as early as the 1570s, by the end of the sixteenth century the temperature plummeted so drastically that Mediterranean harbours were covered with ice, birds literally dropped out of the sky, and 'frost fairs' were erected on a frozen Thames - with kiosks, taverns, and even brothels that become a semi-permanent part of the city.

Recounting the deep legacy and sweeping consequences of this 'Little Ice Age', acclaimed historian Philipp Blom reveals how the European landscape had ineradicably changed by the mid-seventeenth century. While apocalyptic weather patterns destroyed entire harvests and incited mass migrations, Blom brilliantly shows how they also gave rise to the growth of European cities, the appearance of early capitalism, and the vigorous stirrings of the Enlightenment.

A sweeping examination of how a society responds to profound and unexpected change, Nature's Mutiny will transform the way we think about climate change in the twenty-first century and beyond.
Imprint:   Picador
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 197mm,  Width: 130mm,  Spine: 24mm
Weight:   252g
ISBN:   9781509890439
ISBN 10:   1509890432
Pages:   416
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Unit - 1: PROLOGUE: Winter Landscape Chapter - 1: Life without Money Chapter - 2: The Great Experiment Unit - 2: GOD HAS ABANDONED US : Europe, 1570-1600 Chapter - 3: A Monk on the Run Chapter - 4: God's Wind and Waves Chapter - 5: Harsh Frosts and Burning Sun Chapter - 6: A Time of Confusion and a Fiery Mountain Chapter - 7: Pilgrims and Their Hunger Chapter - 8: Truth and Wine Chapter - 9: Wine in Vienna Chapter - 10: The Lights Go Out Chapter - 11: Witches and Spoiled Harvests Chapter - 12: The Truth in the Stars Chapter - 13: Doctor Faustus Chapter - 14: Infinite Worlds Chapter - 15: The Tower of Books Unit - 3: THE AGE OF IRON Chapter - 16: Hortus Botanicus Chapter - 17: Revolutionary Places Chapter - 18: The City Devours Its Children Chapter - 19: The Magic of Green Cheese Chapter - 20: The Great Transformation Chapter - 21: A Picture of the World Chapter - 22: Idle Talk and Fabrications Chapter - 23: A Warning and a Call to Repent Chapter - 24: Tears Too Plentiful to Count Chapter - 25: The Revolution of the Barrel of a Musket Chapter - 26: Sell More to Strangers Chapter - 27: The State as Machine Chapter - 28: A Profitable Trade Chapter - 29: The Curse of Silver Chapter - 30: Officer, Retired Chapter - 31: The Subversive Republic of Letters Chapter - 32: Germanus incredibilis Chapter - 33: Virtue in the Drowning Cell Chapter - 34: Leviathan Chapter - 35: An Inventory of Morality Unit - 4: ON COMETS AND OTHER CELESTIAL LIGHTS Chapter - 36: The Madness of Crowds Chapter - 37: The Antichrist Chapter - 38: The Messiah and the Whore Chapter - 39: The Fair on the Ice Chapter - 40: The Face of Change Chapter - 41: The Price of Change Chapter - 42: Tapissier du roi Chapter - 43: The Public Sphere and the Vices of Bees Chapter - 44: The Floating Reverend Unit - 5: EPILOGUE: Supplement to The Fable of the Bees Chapter - 45: Songbirds, Wood Lice, and Corals Chapter - 46: Freedom and Luxury Chapter - 47: Inherited Compromises Chapter - 48: New Metaphors Chapter - 49: The Theology of the Market Chapter - 50: The Market and the Fortress Acknowledgements - i: Acknowledgments Section - ii: Notes Section - iii: Bibliography Section - iiii: Illustration Credits Index - v: Index

Philipp Blom was born in 1970 in Hamburg and grew up in Detmold, in Germany. After university studies in Vienna and Oxford, he obtained a D.Phil in Modern History. He started writing at Oxford and published a novel as well as occasional journalism, moving on to London, where he worked as an editor, translator, writer and freelance journalist, contributing to newspapers, magazines and radio programmes in Great Britain, the US, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands, and France. In 2001, Philipp Blom moved to Paris to concentrate on his books. In 2007 he settled in Vienna, where he continues to write nonfiction, such as Nature's Mutiny, as well as fiction, films, and occasional journalism. He presents a cultural discussion programme on Austrian national radio and has lectured on history, philosophy, and cultural history in Europe, the US, and South America. He is married to Veronica Buckley, who is also a writer.

Reviews for Nature's Mutiny: How the Little Ice Age Transformed the West and Shaped the Present

A book that skilfully creates a historical panorama, in such a gripping and thrillingly informative way that it's a joy. * Giessener Allgemeine Zeitung * An exciting history book, and an educational one. * Stern * A case study that connects the birth of the modern world with the climate change of the time. A fascinating panorama of a whole era. * Freie Presse * An imposing panorama of politics, economics and intellectual history ... [Blom] has written an informative history of the early modern age, which also prompts us to think about the connections between climate and innovation. * Deutschlandfunk Andruck * Drawing on rich sources, including diaries, letters, account ledgers, paintings, and religious sermons as well as data gleaned by climate historians and scientists, journalist and translator Blom creates a vivid picture of the European landscape during the Little Ice Age and of social, political, and cultural changes that may have been accelerated by climate change ... An absorbing and revealing portrait of profound natural disaster. * Kirkus Reviews * A sweeping story, embracing developments in economics and science, philosophy and exploration, religion and politics. Blom delivers much of his argument through compressed, beautifully clear life sketches of prominent men. [...] Blom's hypothesis is forceful, and has the potential to be both frightening and, if you hold it up to the light at just the right angle, a little optimistic. The idea can be put like this: climate change changes everything -- John Lanchester * New Yorker * Lively . . . an eye-catchingly grand thesis * Sunday Times * Provocative . . . lively and intelligent * Literary Review *

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