This book, first published in 1985, is a comprehensive guide to the main ideas in the history of geomorphology. It traces the development of thinking on landforms, with material ranging from the ancient world to the present day. The main areas covered are the Renaissance, the explosive growth of the Natural Sciences in the nineteenth century and the impact of the Second World War. The papers and theories of specialists like James Hutton, John Playfair and W.M. Davies are presented and discussed and the final chapters reflect on future change, based on the past and speculation on possible developments. Balance is maintained between the dual importance and dominance of English and North American contributions to the subject, and quite substantial research was undertaken to provide a more complete approach to some areas hitherto neglected.
1. The Frames of Reference 2. The Ancient World, the Renaissance and the Aftermath to 1800 3. Hutton and Playfair Versus the Rest: Nascent Geology 4. The Background of Industry, Science and Society 5. The Process of Uniformitarianism 6. Catastrophes in Metamorphosis: Floods, Fires and Shakings 7. The Great Ice Age Revealed: A Slow Catastrophe? 8. North American Geomorphology up to 1900 9. The Geographical Cycle in the Twentieth Century 10. The Impact of World War II 11. Studies of Landform Processes and Landscapes Since 1960 12. What Next?