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Locating the beautiful, picturesque, sublime and majestic: spatially analysing the application of aesthetic terminology in descriptions of the English Lake District

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@article{209b27054fcb4b5fab23ecda5f215418,
title = "Locating the beautiful, picturesque, sublime and majestic: spatially analysing the application of aesthetic terminology in descriptions of the English Lake District",
abstract = "This article introduces and implements an interdisciplinary approach to the examination of historical text corpora. It presents a case study that combines corpus analysis, automated geoparsing and geographic information systems (GIS) to investigate the geographies associated with some of the key aesthetic terms historically used in writing about the English Lake District: a culturally prestigious region of lakes and mountains in northwest England. The basis of this investigation is a 1.5+ million-word corpus of travel writing and topographical literature about the Lake District. The corpus mainly consists of works from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In investigating this corpus we identify and analyse a correspondence between eighteenth-century aesthetic theory and the use of the terms beautiful, picturesque, sublime and majestic in contemporaneous and later accounts of the Lakes region. Our analyses afford new insights into the historical use of these four aesthetic terms. Our findings, moreover, reveal how ephemeral publications, such as tourist guidebooks, helped to consolidate the application of the aesthetic principles and vocabulary formulated by canonical thinkers, including William Gilpin and Edmund Burke. In presenting this research, we demonstrate how a hybrid geographical and corpus-based methodology, which we call geographical text analysis, can advance the study of the connections between literature, aesthetics and physical geography.",
keywords = "GIS, Lake District, History, Historical Geography, Picturesque Movement, Landscape aesthetics, Digital Humanities, Geographical Text Analysis",
author = "Donaldson, {Christopher Elliott} and Gregory, {Ian Norman} and Taylor, {Joanna Elizabeth}",
year = "2017",
month = "4",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.jhg.2017.01.006",
language = "English",
volume = "56",
pages = "43--60",
journal = "Journal of Historical Geography",
issn = "0305-7488",
publisher = "Academic Press Inc.",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Locating the beautiful, picturesque, sublime and majestic

T2 - spatially analysing the application of aesthetic terminology in descriptions of the English Lake District

AU - Donaldson, Christopher Elliott

AU - Gregory, Ian Norman

AU - Taylor, Joanna Elizabeth

PY - 2017/4/1

Y1 - 2017/4/1

N2 - This article introduces and implements an interdisciplinary approach to the examination of historical text corpora. It presents a case study that combines corpus analysis, automated geoparsing and geographic information systems (GIS) to investigate the geographies associated with some of the key aesthetic terms historically used in writing about the English Lake District: a culturally prestigious region of lakes and mountains in northwest England. The basis of this investigation is a 1.5+ million-word corpus of travel writing and topographical literature about the Lake District. The corpus mainly consists of works from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In investigating this corpus we identify and analyse a correspondence between eighteenth-century aesthetic theory and the use of the terms beautiful, picturesque, sublime and majestic in contemporaneous and later accounts of the Lakes region. Our analyses afford new insights into the historical use of these four aesthetic terms. Our findings, moreover, reveal how ephemeral publications, such as tourist guidebooks, helped to consolidate the application of the aesthetic principles and vocabulary formulated by canonical thinkers, including William Gilpin and Edmund Burke. In presenting this research, we demonstrate how a hybrid geographical and corpus-based methodology, which we call geographical text analysis, can advance the study of the connections between literature, aesthetics and physical geography.

AB - This article introduces and implements an interdisciplinary approach to the examination of historical text corpora. It presents a case study that combines corpus analysis, automated geoparsing and geographic information systems (GIS) to investigate the geographies associated with some of the key aesthetic terms historically used in writing about the English Lake District: a culturally prestigious region of lakes and mountains in northwest England. The basis of this investigation is a 1.5+ million-word corpus of travel writing and topographical literature about the Lake District. The corpus mainly consists of works from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In investigating this corpus we identify and analyse a correspondence between eighteenth-century aesthetic theory and the use of the terms beautiful, picturesque, sublime and majestic in contemporaneous and later accounts of the Lakes region. Our analyses afford new insights into the historical use of these four aesthetic terms. Our findings, moreover, reveal how ephemeral publications, such as tourist guidebooks, helped to consolidate the application of the aesthetic principles and vocabulary formulated by canonical thinkers, including William Gilpin and Edmund Burke. In presenting this research, we demonstrate how a hybrid geographical and corpus-based methodology, which we call geographical text analysis, can advance the study of the connections between literature, aesthetics and physical geography.

KW - GIS

KW - Lake District

KW - History

KW - Historical Geography

KW - Picturesque Movement

KW - Landscape aesthetics

KW - Digital Humanities

KW - Geographical Text Analysis

U2 - 10.1016/j.jhg.2017.01.006

DO - 10.1016/j.jhg.2017.01.006

M3 - Journal article

VL - 56

SP - 43

EP - 60

JO - Journal of Historical Geography

JF - Journal of Historical Geography

SN - 0305-7488

ER -