“Writ on Water-Literatures of Flooding in Lincolnshire 1300-1800”

By Dr Stewart Mottram, Director of Research, School of Humanities, University of Hull.

Lowlands regions like Lincolnshire and Humberside share a long history of flooding and of managing flood risk. In recent decades, environmental historians have accordingly turned to the infrastructures of flood risk management in these regions, and to the social and political organisations – drainage boards and commissions of sewers – established to maintain them. Yet there has been comparatively little focus to date on how living with flood risk in ‘the English Lowlands’ shaped the literature – the plays, poems, and prose writings – produced in a region stretching from Hull in the north, to the literary powerhouse of London in the south. With a look at literature written in Humberside and Lincolnshire over a period of particularly severe North Sea storms during the ‘Little Ice Age’ of 1300-1800, this talk makes the case for why we should re-read English literature of this period through an environmental lens. It will turn especially to flooding in the 1570s and 1650s and to the poetry these floods produced, focusing on Hull poet Andrew Marvell’s poem, ‘The Character of Holland’ (1653) and on Boston-born Jean Ingelow’s 19th-century ballad, ‘The High Tide on the Coast of Lincolnshire, 1571’.

Venue Spalding Methodist Church, Broad Street. Entry £5. No booking needed


Feb 09 2024


7:30 PM - 9:00 PM

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