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Manchester v. Thirlmere and the Construction of the Victorian Environment

Harriet Ritvo
Victorian Studies
Vol. 49, No. 3 (Spring, 2007), pp. 457-481
Published by: Indiana University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4626330
Page Count: 25
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Manchester v. Thirlmere and the Construction of the Victorian Environment
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Abstract

The proposed conversion of Thirlmere, in the Lake District, into a reservoir for the city of Manchester sparked a conflict that has served as a prototype for subsequent environmental confrontations. The debate had a heavy symbolic charge: the icon of progress confronted the icon of unspoiled countryside. During construction, and even after the reservoir opened in 1894, critics attempted a rearguard defense of what they regarded as the pristine Lake District landscape. The appeal of the pristine was the most compelling element of anti-reservoir arguments, but the exigencies of municipal progress proved still more powerful.

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