Managing Northern Europe's Forests: Histories from the Age of Improvement to the Age of Ecology | BERGHAHN BOOKS
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Managing Northern Europe's Forests: Histories from the Age of Improvement to the Age of Ecology

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Volume 12

Environment in History: International Perspectives

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Managing Northern Europe's Forests

Histories from the Age of Improvement to the Age of Ecology

Edited by K. Jan Oosthoek and Richard Hölzl

420 pages, 17 illus., 14 maps, 3 tables, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-600-3 $145.00/£107.00 / Hb / Published (February 2018)

ISBN  978-1-80073-922-2 $45.00/£36.00 / Pb / Published (March 2023)

eISBN 978-1-78533-601-0 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“Although this book is well worth buying for Majchrowska’s Polish chapter alone, it offers very much more…[This] is a fertile book full of details that will grow into tantalizing questions in the reader’s mind.” • Environment and History

“The juxtaposition of these cases from across northern Europe allows for fruitful comparisons and reflection on the evolution of states and their forests in the modern period…the editors’ concluding essay does a good job of drawing the articles together. Overall, this is a valuable work for those interested in forest history and environmental studies.” • Central European History

“All in all, this volume, thoroughly edited, richly illustrated as well as having a helpful glossary and an equally useful index, offers a substantially new and innovative contribution to the history of forests in Europe. It is well worth reading and exemplary for other areas.” • Vierteljahrschrift für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte

“This comprehensive and truly transnational collection provides fascinating comparative studies of the history of forestry. It will be of wide interest to environmental historians and students of silviculture everywhere.” • Tom Brooking, University of Otago


Northern Europe was, by many accounts, the birthplace of much of modern forestry practice, and for hundreds of years the region’s woodlands have played an outsize role in international relations, economic growth, and the development of national identity. Across eleven chapters, the contributors to this volume survey the histories of state forestry policy in Scandinavia, the Low Countries, Germany, Poland, and Great Britain from the early modern period to the present. Each explores the complex interrelationships of state-building, resource management, knowledge transfer, and trade over a period characterized by ongoing modernization and evolving environmental awareness.

K. Jan Oosthoek is an environmental historian and education specialist in the humanities based in Brisbane, Australia. He is author of Conquering the Highlands: A History of the Afforestation of the Scottish Uplands (2013). He has also served as vice-president of the European Society for Environmental History (2005–2007) and manages the website ‘Environmental History Resources’ (

Richard Hölzl is a provenance researcher at the Museum Fünf Kontinente in Munich and teaches Modern History at the University of Göttingen. He is the author of books on nineteeth-century scientific forestry in Germany (Umkämpfte Wälder, 2010) and on Catholic missions in colonial East Africa (Gläubige Imperialisten, 2021).

Exploring Environmental History Podcast

Subject: Environmental Studies (General)History: Medieval/Early ModernHistory: 18th/19th Century
Area: Northern Europe


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