This book has been in my thoughts for many years. Growing up in the south-west

of England, contemporary mythologies presented the landscape as largely docile,

bucolic and benign. Writing at the cusp of the twentieth century, Thomas Hardy’s

fictional Wessex offered an alternative and more convincing rural tradition in which

the weather was a complex protagonist in events. But Hardy’s novels differ from

Weather Architecture in that they fatalistically focus on weather’s influence on

people, while this book is concerned with the interdependence of nature and culture

and considers urban as well as rural life.1 To oil the wheel of polite conversation,

the English mention the weather incessantly. But here, as in many countries and

continents, the weather, as a phenomenon and a metaphor, is also a means to

explore and engage the relations between nature and culture, time and space, and

life and death.