George Seddon, one of Australia’s most revered environmental scholars, was renowned for championing ‘a sense of place’. He was a connoisseur of landscapes – from the rugged Snowy River Mountains to the humble domestic backyard – who explored the contested relationship between metropolitan suburbs, agricultural hinterlands and wilderness areas, and the dynamics of everything from resource extraction to tending our own gardens. He sought to radically rethink our relationship with nature.
Seddon’s work anticipated the new fields of urban planning, landscape architecture, environmental conservation, but he was also an irrepressible polymath. A professor in four distinct disciplines – English, geology, the history and philosophy of science, and environmental sciences – he also carved out a career in community, regional and government consultation, wrote practical guides to gardening, heritage walks and house restoration, and the first Australian suburban history.
Collected here are highlights of Seddon’s groundbreaking writing, selected and edited by Andrea Gaynor, a leading scholar of environmental history, and with a lively introduction from leading historian Tom Griffiths.