British Geography 1918-1945 by Robert W. Steel

By Robert W. Steel

This publication lines the rules of recent British geography and is predicated upon the first-hand reminiscences of a few of these lively within the self-discipline among the wars and after. The participants express how geography advanced from fragile institutional foundations in British universities, and the way from the outset the topic generated either controversy and massive variety of opinion. the amount discusses not just the expansion of geography as a selected educational self-discipline, but additionally the connection among geography and nationwide making plans that performed such a big function in post-war reconstruction.

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Thereby geography not only became more widely taught in College, but it also did so in the context of the preparation of candidates for the teaching profession. As time passed this was to become very important for both the growth and the content of the geography syllabus subsequently taught at Aberystwyth. It was to student audiences gathered in this way that a young assistant lecturer, recently returned from a two-year period of research work in Zurich, gave his first lectures in human geography.

B O W E N * Geography was taught at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, from the days when the College first opened its doors in 1872 - that is, forty-six years before a University Department providing first degree courses with Honours in the subject was established in 1918. All that was given were lectures similar in content to 'the use of the globe', a recital of the names of the chief mountains, the capes and bays and principal rivers, followed by the largest towns of a selected country, and ending with the imports and exports of the country concerned.

Fleure had also concluded that Herbertson had, indeed, been led to the Darwinian point of view, albeit by a different road (see 'The later developments in Herbertson's thought: a study in the application of Darwin's ideas', the Herbertson Memorial Lecture for the Geographical Association given by Fleure in Tenby in 1952 and published in Geography (37 (1952): 97-103). The impact of the paper on the natural regions of the globe, and subsequent discussions with the author, left a great impression on Fleure and stimulated him to write that Herbertson's paper had become 'an essential feature of geographical thought'.

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