I am currently about halfway through the 700 pages of Clarence Glacken's Traces on the Rhodian Shore. It's a book that I've been meaning to read for a long time. It's regarded as something of a classic in the history of geographical ideas. And rightly so, it turns out. It's an absolute masterpiece and will, I think, form a large part of the basis of my Ph.D. thesis.
Glacken ends his narrative around the year 1800, about the time I intend to take up mine.
Two men, Herder and Humboldt, it seems to me, are representatives of ideas held toward the earth as a whole in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Herder represents […] the best in the old that was now to vanish, with hints of the new. Humboldt represents an approach to nature study which leads into nineteenth-century thought. (537)I think that I'm quite close to being able to specify precisely what my project now involves. I'm not quite brave enough to lay this out right now, however I feel that I'm getting there.