Hugh D. Clout#

Short laudatio by Jean-Robert PITTE, membre de l’Institut de France
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President de la Société de Géographie#


Hugh D. Clout is one of the most remarkable and influent British geographers. Hard worker, he began very young to study about rural and historical geography of France and Europe. In 1968 he was 24- he achieved a good MPh dissertation about land use in Pays de Bray since XVIIIth century. He appeared as an inventive researcher, geographer as much as historian. Then he prepared a double cursus in Britain (UCL) and in France (Panthéon-Sorbonne) and presented a dissertation in English in 1979 and in French in 1983. He never stopped to read original sources in French archives, first about rural evolution of France, then about a really new topic : reconstruction after first and second world war.

He is not only interested by historical geography, even if he is considered as the master of this field in Britain. He is probably the best specialist of history of French geography, with number of original biographies of French academics published these last years. He oriented as supervisor his students into modern problems : social geography, tourism, present rural development.

His career has been exclusively in UCL London and quite rapid. He became full Professor in 1987 and Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences in 1995, when he was 51.

Hugh Clout is well known for his intellectual and methodological exigence, specially when he writes book reviews. He always promotes deep scholarship. His former students are everywhere in Britain and in Anglo-Saxon countries.


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