Lessons And Art Gleaned From Tambora Volcano

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Climate change and what it might do to the earth's weather has been much in the news. But for a taste of what climate change might be like, consider the eruption of Mount Tambora on the Indonesian island of Sumbawa, which took place 200 years ago this month. In the three years following, there were weather disruptions around the globe.

Gillen D'Arcy Wood, author of the book "Tambora: The Eruption that Changed the World," tells Here & Now's Robin Young there were "disruptive monsoons in Asia, you have the largest drought in the North American continent in recorded history and you have season after season of flooding rains across Western Europe."

The severe weather patterns caused by Tambora also found expression in the art and literature produced in the years following the volcanic eruption: in Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein," in the paintings of John Constable and perhaps even in the later writings of Charles Dickens.

Book Excerpt: 'Tambora'

By Gillen D'Arcy Wood


  • Gillen D'Arcy Wood, professor of English and director of the Sustainability Studies Initiative in the Humanities at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

This segment aired on April 29, 2015.


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