This book provides a historical account of anarchist geographies in the UK and the implications for current practice. It looks at the works of Frenchman Élisée Reclus (1830–1905) and Russian Pyotr Kropotkin (1842–1921) which were cultivated during their exile in Britain and Ireland.

Anarchist geographies have recently gained considerable interest across scholarly disciplines. Many aspects of the international anarchist tradition remain little-known and English-speaking scholarship remains mostly impenetrable to authors. Inspired by approaches in historiography and mobilities, this book links print culture and Reclus and Kropotkin’s spheres in Britain and Ireland. The author draws on primary sources, biographical links and political circles to establish the early networks of anarchist geographies. Their social, cultural and geographical context played a decisive role in the formation and dissemination of anarchist ideas on geographies of social inequalities, anti-colonialism, anti-racism, feminism, civil liberties, animal rights and ‘humane’ or humanistic approaches to socialism.

This book will be relevant to anarchist geographers and is recommended supplementary reading for individuals studying historical geography, history, geopolitics and anti-colonialism.

chapter |12 pages


Alternative geographical traditions

chapter 1|25 pages

The Reclus brothers

Translating science and radical politics in the age of empire

chapter 2|31 pages

Editorial networks and the publics of science

Building pluralist geographies

chapter 3|21 pages

Establishing a geographical tradition in the ‘British Isles’

Emergent social and political geographies

chapter 4|62 pages

Striving for Freedom

Reclus’s and Kropotkin’s politics in the UK

chapter 5|56 pages

Ripples and waves of anarchist writing

Towards humane sciences

chapter 6|4 pages


The relevance of early critical geographies