The study of extreme weather usually involves lots of numbers, graphs, and statistical comparisons. What's missing is the human element; the way people responded to unusual weather events. During the ice cold winter of 1838, did people stay huddled indoors or learn to skate? How about the flooding of the river Trent in the early 19th century? Were they scared? Georgina Endfield is a professor of environmental history at the University of Liverpool. Her team has assembled a fascinating collection of diaries, letter and other personal accounts of how people felt about dramatic shifts in weather over the past several centuries. This history of extreme weather raises important questions about our own, modern, ability to withstand a changing climate.

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