Nature and Culture
written by Brian Hudson
Reaktion Books | ISBN 9781861899187
Paperback – 224 pages
Member’s price: $31.50
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With their fountains of glistening spray, overwhelming roar and terrifying might, waterfalls are extraordinary features of the natural world. While many flock to sites such as Niagara Falls and Victoria Falls, until now the rich cultural background of these natural wonders has been neglected. The beautiful, the sublime and the picturesque are among the ideas considered in relation to waterfalls, but in Waterfall Brian J. Hudson portrays these natural wonders in an entirely new light. There are many myths and legends of waterfalls from divers cultures including Native American, Celtic and Indian, as well as the portrayal of waterfalls in art, literature, photography, film and music, and their influence on landscape design and architecture is significant. The book explores the history and ecology of waterfalls, their importance as the source of hydroelectric power, and as tourist attractions. He discusses the frequent conflict generated by these latter two, usually incompatible uses, and the environmental impacts of the human exploitation of waterfalls. Regardless of their role, waterfalls are a vital presence in an increasingly urban world. This beautifully illustrated book by an expert on the subject will be a superb addition to the library of anyone who loves the natural world.