Hailed as an "arresting" (Lawrence Klepp, New Criterion) account, Nature's Mutiny chronicles the great climate crisis of the seventeenth century that totally transformed Europe's social and political fabric. Best-selling historian Philipp Blom reveals how a new, radically altered Europe emerged out of the "Little Ice Age" that diminished crop yields across the continent, forcing thousands to flee starvation in the countryside to burgeoning urban centers, and even froze London's Thames, upon which British citizens erected semipermanent frost fairs with bustling kiosks, taverns, and brothels. Highlighting how politics and culture also changed drastically, Blom evokes the era's most influential artists and thinkers who imagined groundbreaking worldviews to cope with environmental cataclysm.
As we face a climate crisis of our own, "Blom's prodigious synthesis delivers a sharply-focused lesson for the twenty-first century: the profound effects of just a few degrees of climate change can alter the course of civilization, forever" (Laurence A. Marschall, Natural History).
An intriguing chronicle.... A well-written, informative, and fresh look at a relevant and instructive climate disruption and will appeal to readers interested in European and environmental history as well as our own climate challenges.--Jennifer Johnson, Booklist Intriguing.... this wide-ranging and affectionate portrait of 17th-century Europe has a poetic appeal.--Publishers Weekly Drawing on rich sources, including diaries, letters, account ledgers, paintings, and religious sermons as well as data gleaned by climate historians and scientists, journalist and translator Blom creates a vivid picture of the European landscape during the Little Ice Age and of social, political, and cultural changes that may have been accelerated by climate change.... An absorbing and revealing portrait of profound natural disaster.