The Soul of the North: A Social, Architectural and Cultural History of the Nordic Countries, 1700-1940

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Reaktion Books, 2001 - Education - 416 pages
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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 Northmakes 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.

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The Family and Sexuality
Health Hygiene and Disease
Nordic Life in the Town and Country
Germans Xenophobia and the Growth of National
Regal and Imperial Visions
Scandinavian Overseas
Slavery the Tropics
Some Conclusions

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About the author (2001)

Neil Kent was born in Florida, and studied in Sweden and Cambridge, where he now carries out research at the Scott Polar Research Institute and the History of Art Department of Cambridge University. He is author of The Triumph of Light and Nature: Nordic Art 1740–1940 (1987).

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