Author Archive | Isaac Land

The Coastal History Blog

Blog 22: “The Trained Researcher’s Eye… and What It Misses” Many historians, young and old, nurse the lingering hope that their next round of research will uncover that career-making revelation, their personal equivalent of Carlo Ginzburg’s benandanti or Robert Darnton’s Great Cat Massacre. But if it turned up right in front of you, would you […]

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    The Coastal History Blog

    Blog 21: “The ‘Cosmopolitan Port Town’—Is There Any Other Kind?” Michael Pearson, in his book The Indian Ocean, emphasizes that littoral societies have markedly different attitudes from their more parochial neighbors inland.  He quotes Ross Dunn on the “cosmopolitan frame of mind” of Muslims in East Africa, southern India, and Malaysia and adds: “This was […]

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      Blog 20: Contemplating Time and Tide in the Sailor’s Magazine When nineteenth-century Britons stood facing the ocean, what did they think about? Did they rejoice in the healthy sea breezes? Fret about a French invasion? Did they daydream about travel, worry about stock market crashes, plot the conversion of unbelievers in far-flung colonies?  Or, watching […]

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        Blog 19: “The Versatile Coast” After my blog post on “Gérard Le Bouëdec’s sociétés littorales” appeared in April, Olivier Le Gouic wrote me to point out that much more had been published in this area.  An entire edited volume, Entre terre et mer, appeared in 2004. [1] I will continue, albeit gradually, to explore and […]

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          Blog 18: “Offshore and Offshoring” In her book Cornish Wrecking, Cathryn Pearce relates an incident from 1755 in which Customs Officers opened fire on a pilchard sloop caught in the act of fishing two casks of brandy out of the water.  The sloop fled, but was intercepted at the quay, where combat continued and blood […]

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            Blog 17: “Iain McCalman’s Great Barrier Reef” In 1925, J. Stanley Gardiner, a Cambridge don and fisheries expert, made a public statement of regret that the Great Barrier Reef existed.  “It is the greatest pity in the world,” he told the Royal Geographical Society, “… a tragedy so far as the people of Queensland are […]

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