Recent books on ecological themes

Recent publication in Rural History with special attention on the relation between landscapes and cities.

E. Thoen, P. Van Cruyningen (eds.), Food supply, demand and trade . Aspects of the economic relationship between town and countryside (Middle Ages – 19th century, Comparative Rural History of the North Sea Area (CORN 14)( ISBN: 978-2-503-51283-9)

This book is a collection of articles studying various aspects of the relationship between town and countryside during the period from the Middle Ages to the nineteenth century. The focus is on how towns were supplied with basic foodstuffs, and especial attention is paid to the two most urbanized regions within the North Sea area: England and the Low Countries.

In historiography, a great deal of attention has been paid to the influence of towns on the countryside and agriculture, and particularly to the relationship between the rise of urban markets and the emergence of commercial agriculture, but there is still no clarity about how town-countryside relationships influenced economic growth. One of the merits of this book is that it opens up new avenues to an understanding of the complex relationship between urban markets and commercial agriculture. The approach differs from article to article, some scholars homing in on the individual strategies of farms, others working more in the macroeconomic tradition. In sum, the book is a valuable contribution to both rural and urban historiography, and can provide a fresh stimulus to the study of economic relationships between town and countryside.

New publications on watermanagement:

The latest number of the Jaarboek voor Ecologische Geschiedenis, 2010, Chloé Deligne and Tim Soens (ed.),  Steden en water, or Cities and Water (ISBN 978-90-8704-307-0), focusses on the important role of water in the cities of the Low Countries. Water and water management functions as a structural agent in the urban cities throughout time. It is an essential condition for urban life, but it is also instrumental for the survival of towns and communities but can also serve political purposes.

Other recent publications on the same topic, focusing on the history of the Netherlands are:

Daan van Rijn en Rutger Polderman, Het water de baas. Geschiedenis van de mechanische bemaling in Nederland. (ISBN 978-90-8704-147-2)

Offers an overview of the Dutch water management policy through time, with an extended description of the technical means developed to drain  areas and to actively reclaim land on the sea, with special attention on designers, builders and  suppliers of the land reclamation machinery.

Noort, Langs de rand van het zand. Waterstaatsgeschiedenis in de Brabantse Delta. (ISBN 978-90-8704-132-8)

Stadswording in de Nederlanden. Op zoek naar overzicht, (ISBN 978-90-8704-081-9)

Water Management, Communities, and Environment., published in the  series The Low Countries in Comparative Perspective, c. 1000- c. 1800 [jg. 2005-2006], (ISBN 90-382-0988-6).


Bernard Le Sueur, Navigation interieures. Histoire de la batellerie de la préhistoire à demain. Collection Beaux Livres Mer.  This book gives an overview of inland navigation from prehistoric times. From the appearance of the first river vessels, the development of naval shipping and trade and the changes from the 18th century onwards, till the industrial barges of the 20th century. The books’ central theme is the relation between societies and their rivers and waterways.


Danielle Caluwé & Kevin Troch

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