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In this programme, Dr. Colin A. Russell, Reader in the History of Science and Technology at the Open University analyses and describes the ways in which attitudes to mountains and mountaineering ch...anged between the early eighteenth century and the mid nineteenth century. The programme concentrates on the Lake District in England and relates changing attitudes to mountains to more fundamental changes in man' s view of nature. It is illustrated from the works of Thomas West, Sir Thomas Burnet, Daniel Defoe, Thomas Gray, William Wordsworth and others. Specially shot film shows the Lake District as it is now and contemporary illustrations from collections in the Armitt Library in Ambleside and the City Library in Carlisle suggest some of the ways in which early illustrators looked at the area. Paintings of the Lake District by Turner and Ruskin are also included. Quotations are read by Nigel Graham.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: AMST283, Science and belief: from Copernicus to Darwin
Item code: AMST283; 11; 1975
First transmission date: 05-10-1975
Published: 1975
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:00
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Producer: Miriam Rapp
Contributors: Nigel Graham; Colin Russell
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Lake District; Mountaineering; Mountains
Footage description: Colin Russell introduces the programme, showing brief extracts from previous programmes which have featured mountains. He indicates the significance of men's attitudes to mountains, illustrated in this programme by the Lake District. During the early 18th century the prevailing attitude to mountains was one of distaste and horror. Quotations from Thomas Burnet, Daniel Defoe, and Bishop Butler. Portrait of Burnet, and maps of 1675 and I760 covering the Lake District; neither give any detail of the mountains. Shots of wild scenery and Levens Hall. Portrait of John Wesley. In the second half of the eighteenth century fascination began to prevail over dislike of mountains. Quotes from Addison, Thomas West's 'Guide' to the Lakes of 1778, and an obscure poet. Portrait of Addison. Shots of Gowdar Crag, Tarn Hows and Langdale Pikes Engraving of Langdale Pikes by Thomas Smith, 1761, showing exaggerated proportions. A more lyrical appreciation of the scenery followed. Extracts from Thomas Gray's 'Tour of the English Lakes', with further engraving by Smith, and shots of Derwentwater. Comment on Gilpin's 'Picturesque Tours', 1786, which recommended the use of a piano convex mirror to view the landscapes. Demonstration of what this looks like, and another Giipin recommendation to view the landscape through coloured glasses. Extracts from contemporary skit on this. The coming of Romanticism brought, a new attitude of reverence. Extract from Wordsworth on a solitary's cottage near Blea Tarn, with film of the spot described. Another extract gives Wordsworth's fear of destruction of solitude by technology: the steam engine. Shot of Turner view of Coniston. Montage of steam trains. Music at the beginning of the sequence and at other points in the programme is from Haydn's 'Creation'. Final phase described in the advent of the amateur mountaineering the philosophy of conquest. Shots of mountaineers on cliff face, portraits of Edward Frankland and John Tyndall: quotations from him. Russell sums up, tying up the themes of the course and widening the ideas of this programme to show the development of ideas about man's relationship to nature in general. Credits. (For details of other stills used in this programme see script.)
Master spool number: 6HT/71933
Production number: 00525_3237
Videofinder number: 3359
Available to public: no