The evidence for the Little Ice Age, the most important fluctuation in global climate in historical times, is most dramatically represented by the advance of mountain glaciers in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and their retreat since about 1850. The effects on the landscape and the daily life of people have been particularly apparent in Norway and the Alps. This major book places an extensive body of material relating to Europe, in the form of documentary evidence of the history of the glaciers, their portrayal in paintings and maps, and measurements made by scientists and others, within a global perspective.
It shows that the glacial history of mountain regions all over the world displays a similar pattern of climatic events. Furthermore, fluctuations on a comparable scale have occurred at intervals of a millennium or two throughout the last ten thousand years since the ice caps of North America and northwest Europe melted away. This is the first scholarly work devoted to the Little Ice Age, by an author whose research experience of the subject has been extensive. This book includes large numbers of maps, diagrams and photographs, many not published elsewhere, and very full bibliographies. It is a definitive work on the subject, and an excellent focus for the work of economic and social historians as well as glaciologists, climatologists, geographers, and specialists in mountain environment.
`A masterpiece of meticulous research on a huge topic. It is written in a style that will appeal to a wide audience and is illustrated both lavishly and sensibly throughout … Jean M. Grove is to be heartily congratulated .' - Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers
`A synthesis of knowledge of the Little Ice Age has long been needed, and this is the nearest we can expect to a comprehensive review in a single volume … Illustration and maps are of very high quality. I particularly compliment the author and publishers on the 57 plates, containing several reproductions of 18th and 19th centuries paintings of glaciers with advanced terminus. This is a book to be strongly recommended, and essential for scientists investigating climatic change.' - Polar Record
`In her major analysis of evidence from every glacial region of the world, Jean Grove steers her way through this morass with remarkable skill, neither ignoring the inconsistencies nor allowing them to obscure the truth. The most complete and plausible picture yet of the Little Ice Age … there is barely a word or sentence that cannot be understood by any intelligent reader.' - New Scientist
`Three cheers for Jean Grove for producing the definitive synthesis of global glacier expansions between about 1550 and 1850 … this is a top-notch well-produced book that puts a wealth of information about Little Ice Age glacier fluctuations at hand … the book must be regarded as definitive on its chosen subject. The Little Ice Age should appeal to a wide audience including historians, geologists, glaciologists, and climatologists.' - Climatic Change
'The book is essential reading for all Quaternary researchers. It ought to be listed as a mandatory textbook for senior undergraduates and Masters students … this book is a mine of useful information and fascinating facts. Anyone preparing work on the Holocene history of any glaciated area in the world would do no better than to read the relevant parts of this book. It provides a lead-in to much of the important literature and hence is a particularly effective research tool.' - Geological Magazine