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246 × 189 × 22 mm
416 pages
270 illustrations, 45 in colour
01 Sep 2001
Histories, Cultures, Contexts
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The Soul of the North A Social, Architectural and Cultural History of the Nordic Countries, 1700–1940 Neil Kent

The history of the Nordic Region (including Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Iceland, Greenland) as well as outlying provinces such as Swedish Pomerania and the former Caribbean colonies, is examined in this unique and exhaustive study. Focusing on social identities, spiritual values, the integration and exclusion of ethnic and other groups, attitudes towards authority, family life and sexual identity as well as the influences of climate and natural geography, Neil Kent provides an architectural, artistic and social history of the region.

The Soul of the North makes use of the singular and extant forms of architecture and the visual arts, as well as statistics and other documentary evidence. A wide range of issues are covered: pietism; prostitution; the role of women; gender values in art and architecture; attitudes towards children and authority; slavery and criminality; political expression and symbolism; social symbiosis with nature; the exigencies of climate on architecture; and architectural patronage and its use as an expression of social status. All are set against a background of the major philosophical, political and social events of the period, with an emphasis on national and regional diversities.

A unique, comprehensive and wide-ranging history of the area, this book will interest the general reader and specialist alike.

‘a most ambitious undertaking, made by someone both experienced and learned in the life and art of [the Nordic countries]’ — Independent on Sunday

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Neil Kent teaches and carries out historical and social research at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of The Triumph of Light and Nature: Nordic Art 1740-1940 (1987).

1. Christianity, Spirituality and the Church
2. The Family and Sexuality
3. Health, Hygiene and Disease
4. Nordic Life in the Town and Country
5. Germans, Xenophobia and the Growth of National Identities
6. Regal and Imperial Visions
7. European Arctic Hegemony: Scandinavian Overseas Colonies in the Far North
8. A Peculiar Institution: Slavery, the Tropics and Scandinavian Colonial Expansion
Some Conclusions
Chronology of Political Events
Chronology of Cultural and Scientific Events
Photographic Acknowledgements