Volcano by James Hamilton
Nature and Culture (Reaktion Books - Earth)

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 3 Critic Reviews



For years, tourists have trekked across cracked rock at Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano to witness the awe-inspiring sight of creeping lava and its devastating effects on the landscape. In 2010, Eyjafjallajökull erupted in Iceland, stranding travelers as a cloud of ash covered western and northern Europe, causing the largest disruption of air travel since World War II. And just a few months later, Mount Merapi blew in Indonesia, killing over 350 people and displacing over 350,000 others, awakening people once more to the dangerous potential of these sleeping giants.

Though today largely dormant, volcanoes continue to erupt across the world, reminding us of their sheer physical power. In Volcano, James Hamilton explores the cultural history generated by the violence and terrifying beauty of volcanoes. He describes the reverberations of early eruptions of Vesuvius and Etna in Greek and Roman myth. He also examines the depiction of volcanoes in art—from the earliest known wall painting of an erupting volcano in 6200 BCE to the distinctive colors of Andy Warhol and Michael Sandle’s exploding mountains. Surveying a number of twenty-first-century works, Hamilton shows that volcanoes continue to influence the artistic imagination. Combining established figures such as Joseph Wright and J. M. W. Turner with previously unseen perspectives, this richly illustrated book will appeal to anyone interested in science as well as the cultural impact of these spectacular natural features.

About James Hamilton

See more books from this Author
James Hamilton is an art historian and author of many books, including London Lights: The Minds that Moved the City that Shook the World 1805–51 and Turner and Italy.
Published October 3, 2012 by Reaktion Books. 224 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Arts & Photography, Professional & Technical, Science & Math. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Volcano

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

Thus Sir William is referred to throughout by his Italian sobriquet of "Cavaliere," Emma is "the Cavaliere's wife" and Nelson, of course, is "the hero."

Aug 09 1992 | Read Full Review of Volcano: Nature and Culture (...

Los Angeles Times

See more reviews from this publication

Writing what I suppose could be called a historical novel about the celebrated and sloppy triangle of Admiral Horatio Nelson, Lady Emma Hamilton and her celery-stalk husband, Sir William Hamilton, Sontag condescends not at all.

Aug 16 1992 | Read Full Review of Volcano: Nature and Culture (...

The Independent

In telling the triangular, volcanic love story of Sir William Hamilton, his wife Emma and her lover Nelson, she has chosen, although echoing in her various tones the idiom and flavour of the period, to write from our own time.

Sep 26 1992 | Read Full Review of Volcano: Nature and Culture (...