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Tom Griffiths

George Seddon

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One of Australia’s most revered environmental scholars and its most distinguished landscape essayist.

George Seddon was renowned for championing a ‘sense of place’, giving that phrase a uniquely Australian substance. He was a connoisseur of landscapes, from the rugged Snowy Mountains to the humble domestic backyard. With wit and deep knowledge, he radically rethought our relationship with the environment, considering everything from water to mining, suburbs to wilderness.

Seddon was an extraordinary polymath: a professor of geology, the history and philosophy of science, and environmental science, who also taught in departments of English and philosophy. He broke new ground in urban planning, landscape architecture and environmental conservation. The highlights of his wide-ranging and always illuminating work are selected here by Andrea Gaynor, with a lively introduction by historian Tom Griffiths.

‘Seddon’s vision has enduring significance today: he made life better, planners more thoughtful and landscapes more beautiful; he helped us see our country from the inside. He was a maverick, an original. In his boyish way he encouraged us to “wag school” from time to time, to climb fences, to play, and to challenge what we read with what we feel, hear and see.’ —Tom Griffiths

‘George Seddon’s words are beacons.’ —Tim Flannery
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2019

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