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Forty Years in a Moorland Parish

Nature volume 44, pages 122123 | Download Citation

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Abstract

THE moorland parish of which Dr. Atkinson writes is the parish of Danby, which lies among the Cleveland Hills, some miles inland from Whitby. Here he has worked as a clergyman for forty-five years. To a man of narrow sympathies and little intellectual curiosity the position might have been trying enough; but in the life of the people, in the aspects of Nature, and in local problems appealing to the antiquary and the historian, Dr. Atkinson has found sources of interest which have never lost their charm. In the present volume he records some reminiscences of the pursuits which have occupied him, and of the impressions which have been made upon him, during all these years; and a very fascinating record it is. He not only has powers of keen and accurate observation, but carries on his researches in a thoroughly scientific spirit; and he is a master of the difficult art of stating problems in a manner that secures attention while they are being gradually solved. His immediate subject is Danby; but if the author had never raised his eyes to look further afield, his readers might soon have felt that he had told them about as much as they wished to know. Facts relating to a particular locality can never be really understood unless they are brought into connection with kindred facts in other parts of the world. This is constantly borne in mind by Dr. Atkinson, and his ample learning enables him to apply the principle in many different ways; so that, when he is talking about Danby, he is often talking at the same time about wide regions of the British Islands, and even about stages of culture through which the greater part of the human race has passed.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/044122a0

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