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Burroughs claims that there had been almost no depictions of winter in art, and he "hypothesizes that the unusually harsh winter of 1565 inspired great artists to depict highly original images and that the decline in such paintings was a combination of the 'theme' having been fully explored and mild winters interrupting the flow of painting".
Evidence from mountain glaciers does suggest increased glaciation in a number of widely spread regions outside Europe prior to the twentieth century, including Alaska, New Zealand and Patagonia.
The Little Ice Age, by anthropology professor Brian Fagan of the University of California at Santa Barbara, tells of the plight of European peasants during the 1300 to 1850 chill: famines, hypothermia, bread riots and the rise of despotic leaders brutalizing an increasingly dispirited peasantry.
In the late 17th century, agriculture had dropped off dramatically: "Alpine villagers lived on bread made from ground nutshells mixed with barley and oat flour." Burroughs asserts that it occurred almost entirely from 1565 to 1665 and was associated with the climatic decline from 1550 onwards.
Greenland was largely cut off by ice from 1410 to the 1720s.
The Twentieth Century climatologist Hubert Lamb said that in many years, "snowfall was much heavier than recorded before or since, and the snow lay on the ground for many months longer than it does today." Many springs and summers were cold and wet but with great variability between years and groups of years.
According to the science historian James Burke, the period inspired such novelties in everyday life as the widespread use of buttons and button-holes, knitting of custom-made undergarments to better cover and insulate the body.
Fireplace hoods were installed to make more efficient use of fires for indoor heating, and enclosed stoves were developed, with early versions often covered with ceramic tiles.
In Estonia and Finland in 1696–97, losses have been estimated at a fifth and a third of the national populations, respectively." Viticulture disappeared from some northern regions and storms caused serious flooding and loss of life.
Some of them resulted in permanent loss of large areas of land from the Danish, German, and Dutch coasts.
The winter of 1794–1795 was particularly harsh: the French invasion army under Pichegru was able to march on the frozen rivers of the Netherlands, and the Dutch fleet was fixed in the ice in Den Helder harbour.
Sea ice surrounding Iceland extended for miles in every direction, closing harbors to shipping.
Climatologists and historians working with local records no longer expect to agree on either the start or end dates of the period, which varied according to local conditions.