The Village News

The Truth Behind England's Rural Idyll

Author: Tom Fort

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1471151115

Category: Travel

Page: 432

View: 6360

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We have lived in villages a long time. The village was the first model for communal living. Towns came much later, then cities. Later still came suburbs, neighbourhoods, townships, communes, kibbutzes. But the village has endured. Across England, modernity creeps up to the boundaries of many, breaking the connection the village has with the land. With others, they can be as quiet as the graveyard as their housing is bought up by city ‘weekenders’, or commuters. The ideal chocolate box image many holidaying to our Sceptred Isle have in their minds eye may be true in some cases, but across the country the heartbeat of the real English village is still beating strongly – if you can find it. To this mission our intrepid historian and travel writer Tom Fort willingly gets on his trusty bicycle and covers the length and breadth of England to discover the essence of village life. His journeys will travel over six thousand years of communal existence for the peoples that eventually became the English. Littered between the historical analysis, will be personal memories from Tom of the village life he remembers and enjoys today in rural Oxfordshire.

The English Village

History and Traditions

Author: Martin Wainwright

Publisher: Michael O'Mara Books

ISBN: 1843177943

Category: History

Page: 242

View: 8659

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The village remains a quintessential and much-loved treasure of the English countryside. This rural idyll has inspired generations of great poets, novelists and artists including the likes of Constable, Hardy, Wordsworth, as well as providing the picturesque setting for modern TV series such as Lark Rise to Candleford and Cranford. The English Village celebrates all that is unique and loved about a typical village - the pub, the green, the school, the church, the pond, the local shop and more - as well as exploring how the village has changed over the centuries. Also includes fascinating information on the origins of village names - Siddington, for example, means the farm of the valley (sidd: valley, in: belonging to, ton: farmland). Filled with facts, figures, customs and lore, there is a wealth of fascinating information to be discovered in this charming book.

Handbook of Rural Studies

Author: Paul Cloke,Terry Marsden,Patrick Mooney

Publisher: SAGE

ISBN: 9780761973324

Category: Science

Page: 511

View: 2933

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'This is a unique interpretation of rural issues that will become essential reference for students, scholars, politicians, developers and rural activists...' - Imre Kovach, President, European Society for Rural Sociology, Research director, Institute for Political Sciences, Budapest

The A303

Highway to the Sun

Author: Tom Fort

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 0857203274

Category: Travel

Page: 368

View: 9096

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'A nostalgic experience, informative, humorous, charming, but pervaded by the bitter-sweet scent of regret' Daily Mail The A303 is more than a road. It is a story. One of the essential routes of English motoring and the road of choice to the West Country for thousands of holidaymakers, the A303 recalls a time when the journey was an adventure and not simply about getting there. Tom Fort gives voice to the stories this road has to tell, from the bluestones of Stonehenge to Roman roads and drovers paths, to turnpike tollhouses, mad vicars, wicked Earls and solstice seekers, the history, geography and culture of this road tells a story of an English way of life. 'Fort has an eye for the quirky, the absurd, the pompous and a style that, like the road, is always on the move' Sunday Telegraph 'A lovely book...At last someone has celebrated the romance of the British road' Guardian

The Book of Eels

Author: Tom Fort

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

ISBN: 9780007115938

Category: Eels

Page: 348

View: 8773

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What has been the dish of kings, the subject of myths and the traveller of epic and mysterious journeys? The eel. Beginning life in the Sargasso Sea, the eel travels across the ocean, lives for twenty or so years, and then is driven by some instinct back across the ocean to spawn and die. And the next generation starts the story again. No one knows why the eels return, or how the orphaned elvers learn their way back. One man discovered, after many adventures, the breeding ground of all eels - and he is the hero of this book.

Against the Flow

Author: Tom Fort

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1407057642

Category: Travel

Page: 320

View: 4975

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'You have to be on your guard when you go back to special places. You may be able to locate them easily enough on the map, but maps tell only one story. Times change and places and people with them. The memory plays curious tricks, and things aren't always as you remember or expect.' Twenty years ago, Tom Fort drove his little red car onto the ferry at Felixstowe, bound for all points east. Eastern Europe was still a faraway place, just emerging from its half-century of waking nightmare, blinking, injured, full of fears but importantly full of hope too. Things were different then. Czechoslovakia was still Czechoslovakia, Russia was the USSR and the Warsaw Pact had not formally dissolved. But what did exist then, as they do now, were the rivers: the nations' lifeblood. It was along and by these rivers that Fort travelled around Eastern Europe meeting its people and immersing himself in its culture. Since that trip though, much has changed and in more recent years around one million Poles have settled in Britain. Fort's local paper has a Polish edition, his supermarket has a full range of Polish bread, sausage and beer and an influx of Polish businesses opened in his town centre. And it's not just the Poles, his gym has a Lithuanian trainer and the woman who cuts his hair is from Hungary. As a tide of people began to leave Eastern Europe and settle in the UK, Tom Fort started to wonder about what they were leaving behind and whether the friends he had made all those years ago remained. And so he decided to make the journey again, travelling against the flow of the steady human stream to explore the once familiar places. As he did so, many began to return as the recession took hold of Western Europe. Tom was keen to find out what had changed and how the places, people and way of life had moved on and of course fit in a spot of fishing along the way.

Cider with Rosie

A Memoir

Author: Laurie Lee

Publisher: Open Road Media

ISBN: 1497641349

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 215

View: 5793

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This international-bestselling memoir of childhood in post–World War I rural England is one of the most endearing portraits of youth in all literature. Three years old and wrapped in a Union Jack to protect him from the sun, Laurie Lee arrived in the village of Slad in the final summer of the First World War. The cottage his mother had rented for three and sixpence a week had neither running water nor electricity, but it was surrounded by a lovely half-acre garden and, most importantly, it was big enough for the seven children in her care. It was here, in a verdant valley tucked into the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, that Laurie Lee learned to look at life with a painter’s eye and a poet’s heart—qualities of vision that, decades later, would make him one of England’s most cherished authors. In this vivid recollection of a magical time and place, water falls from the scullery pump “sparkling like liquid sky.” Autumn is more than a season—it is a land eternally aflame, like Moses’s burning bush. Every midnight, on a forlorn stretch of heath, a phantom carriage reenacts its final, wild ride. And, best of all, the first secret sip of cider, “juice of those valleys and of that time,” leads to a boy’s first kiss, “so dry and shy, it was like two leaves colliding in air.” An instant classic when it was first published in 1959, Cider with Rosie is one of the most endearing and evocative portraits of youth in all of literature. The first installment in an autobiographical trilogy that includes As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning and A Moment of War, it is also a heartfelt and lyrical ode to England, and to a way of life that may belong to the past, but will never be forgotten.

Channel Shore

From the White Cliffs to Land's End

Author: Tom Fort

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1471129721

Category: Travel

Page: 448

View: 1490

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The English Channel is the busiest waterway in the world. Ferries steam back and forth, trains thunder through the tunnel. The narrow sea has been crucial to our development and prosperity. It helps define our notion of Englishness, as an island people, a nation of seafarers. It is also our nearest, dearest playground where people have sought sun, sin and bracing breezes. Tom Fort takes us on a fascinating, discursive journey from east to west, to find out what this stretch of water means to us and what is so special about the English seaside, that edge between land and seawater. He dips his toe into Sandgate's waters, takes the air in Hastings and Bexhill, chews whelks in Brighton, builds a sandcastle in Sandbanks, sunbathes in sunny Sidmouth, catches prawns off the slipway at Salcombe and hunts a shark off Looe. Stories of smugglers and shipwreck robbers, of beachcombers and samphire gatherers, gold diggers and fossil hunters abound.

Real England

The Battle Against The Bland

Author: Paul Kingsnorth

Publisher: Portobello Books

ISBN: 1846274338

Category: Political Science

Page: 320

View: 6849

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We see the signs around us every day: the chain cafés and mobile phone outlets that dominate our high streets; the disappearance of knobbly carrots from our supermarket shelves; and the headlines about yet another traditional industry going to the wall. For the first time, here is a book that makes the connection between these isolated, incremental local changes and the bigger picture of a nation whose identity is being eroded. As he travels around the country meeting farmers, fishermen and the inhabitants of Chinatown, Paul Kingsnorth reports on the kind of conversations that are taking place in country pubs and corner shops across the land – while reminding us that these quintessentially English institutions may soon cease to exist.

Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man

Author: Siegfried Sassoon

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101598867

Category: Fiction

Page: 320

View: 6813

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The first volume in Siegfried Sassoon’s beloved trilogy, The Complete Memoirs of George Sherston, with a new introduction by celebrated historian Paul Fussell A highly decorated English soldier and an acclaimed poet and novelist, Siegfried Sassoon won fame for his trilogy of fictionalized autobiographies that wonderfully capture the vanishing idylls of Edwardian England and the brutal realities of war. In this first novel of the semiautobiographical George Sherston trilogy, Sassoon wonderfully captures the vanishing idylls of the Edwardian English countryside. Never out of print since its original publication in 1928, when it won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, Sassoon's reminiscences about childhood and the beginning of World War I are channeled through young George Sherston, whose life of local cricket tournaments and fox-hunts falls apart as war approaches and he joins up to fight. Sassoon's first novel, though rife with comic characters and a jaunty sense of storytelling, presents his own loss of innocence and the destruction of the country he knew and loved. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Walking Through Spring

Author: Graham Hoyland

Publisher: HarperCollins UK

ISBN: 0008156131

Category: Nature

Page: 384

View: 7467

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Walking Through Spring follows Graham Hoyland’s journey as he creates a new national trail, walking with the Spring from the south coast in March up to the border with Scotland, which he reaches on the longest day: the twenty-first of June.

Watling Street

Travels Through Britain and Its Ever-Present Past

Author: John Higgs

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 1474603491

Category: History

Page: 320

View: 567

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A journey along one of Britain's oldest roads, from Dover to Anglesey, in search of the hidden history that makes us who we are today. Long ago a path was created by the passage of feet tramping through endless forests. Gradually that path became a track, and the track became a road. It connected the White Cliffs of Dover to the Druid groves of the Welsh island of Anglesey, across a land that was first called Albion then Britain, Mercia and eventually England and Wales. Armies from Rome arrived and straightened this 444 kilometres of meandering track, which in the Dark Ages gained the name Watling Street. Today, this ancient road goes by many different names: the A2, the A5 and the M6 Toll. It is a palimpsest that is always being rewritten. Watling Street is a road of witches and ghosts, of queens and highwaymen, of history and myth, of Chaucer, Dickens and James Bond. Along this route Boudicca met her end, the Battle of Bosworth changed royal history, Bletchley Park code breakers cracked Nazi transmissions and Capability Brown remodelled the English landscape. The myriad people who use this road every day might think it unremarkable, but, as John Higgs shows, it hides its secrets in plain sight. Watling Street is not just the story of a route across our island, but an acutely observed, unexpected exploration of Britain and who we are today, told with wit and flair, and an unerring eye for the curious and surprising.

Akenfield

Portrait of an English Village

Author: Ronald Blythe

Publisher: New York Review of Books

ISBN: 1590178319

Category: History

Page: 384

View: 1523

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Woven from the words of the inhabitants of a small Suffolk village in the 1960s, Akenfield is a masterpiece of twentieth-century English literature, a scrupulously observed and deeply affecting portrait of a place and people and a now vanished way of life. Ronald Blythe’s wonderful book raises enduring questions about the relations between memory and modernity, nature and human nature, silence and speech.

Season of Migration to the North

Author: Tayeb Salih,al-Ṭayyib Ṣāliḥ,صالح، الطيب,Laila Lalami

Publisher: New York Review of Books

ISBN: 1590173023

Category: Fiction

Page: 139

View: 4172

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After years of study in Europe, the young narrator of Season of Migration to the North returns to his village along the Nile in the Sudan. It is the 1960s, and he is eager to make a contribution to the new postcolonial life of his country. Back home, he discovers a stranger among the familiar faces of childhood--the enigmatic Mustafa Sa'eed. Mustafa takes the young man into his confidence, telling him the story of his own years in London, of his brilliant career as an economist, and of the series of fraught and deadly relationships with European women that led to a terrible public reckoning and his return to his native land. But what is the meaning of Mustafa's shocking confession? Mustafa disappears without explanation, leaving the young man--whom he has asked to look after his wife--in an unsettled and violent no-man's-land between Europe and Africa, tradition and innovation, holiness and defilement, and man and woman, from which no one will escape unaltered or unharmed. Season of Migration to the North is a rich and sensual work of deep honesty and incandescent lyricism. In 2001 it was selected by a panel of Arab writers and critics as the most important Arab novel of the twentieth century.

From Source to Sea

Notes from a 215-Mile Walk Along the River Thames

Author: Tom Chesshyre

Publisher: Summersdale Publishers LTD

ISBN: 1786858193

Category: Travel

Page: 320

View: 7650

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Over the years, authors, artists and amblers aplenty have felt the pull of the Thames, and now Tom Chesshyre is following in their footsteps. He's walking the length of the river from the Cotswolds to the North Sea—a winding journey of over 200 miles. Join him for an illuminating stroll past meadows, churches and palaces, country estates and council estates, factories and dockyards. Setting forth in the summer of Brexit, and meeting a host of interesting characters along the way, Chesshyre explores the living present and remarkable past of England's longest and most iconic river.

Chocolat

Author: Joanne Harris

Publisher: Anchor Canada

ISBN: 0385674732

Category: Fiction

Page: 320

View: 3767

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When the exotic stranger Vianne Rocher arrives in the old French village of Lansquenet and opens a chocolate boutique called “La Celeste Praline” directly across the square from the church, Father Reynaud identifies her as a serious danger to his flock. It is the beginning of Lent: the traditional season of self-denial. The priest says she’ll be out of business by Easter. To make matters worse, Vianne does not go to church and has a penchant for superstition. Like her mother, she can read Tarot cards. But she begins to win over customers with her smiles, her intuition for everyone’s favourites, and her delightful confections. Her shop provides a place, too, for secrets to be whispered, grievances aired. She begins to shake up the rigid morality of the community. Vianne’s plans for an Easter Chocolate Festival divide the whole community. Can the solemnity of the Church compare with the pagan passion of a chocolate éclair? For the first time, here is a novel in which chocolate enjoys its true importance, emerging as an agent of transformation. Rich, clever, and mischievous, reminiscent of a folk tale or fable, this is a triumphant read with a memorable character at its heart. Says Harris: “You might see [Vianne] as an archetype or a mythical figure. I prefer to see her as the lone gunslinger who blows into the town, has a showdown with the man in the black hat, then moves on relentless. But on another level she is a perfectly real person with real insecurities and a very human desire for love and acceptance. Her qualities too - kindness, love, tolerance - are very human.” Vianne and her young daughter Anouk, come into town on Shrove Tuesday. “Carnivals make us uneasy,” says Harris, “because of what they represent: the residual memory of blood sacrifice (it is after all from the word "carne" that the term arises), of pagan celebration. And they represent a loss of inhibition; carnival time is a time at which almost anything is possible.” The book became an international best-seller, and was optioned to film quickly. The Oscar-nominated movie, with its star-studded cast including Juliette Binoche (The English Patient) and Judi Dench (Shakespeare in Love), was directed by Lasse Hallstrom, whose previous film The Cider House Rules (based on a John Irving novel) also looks at issues of community and moral standards, though in a less lighthearted vein. The idea for the book came from a comment her husband made one day while he was immersed in a football game on TV. “It was a throwaway comment, designed to annoy and it did. It was along the lines of...Chocolate is to women what football is to men…” The idea stuck, and Harris began thinking that “people have these conflicting feelings about chocolate, and that a lot of people who have very little else in common relate to chocolate in more or less the same kind of way. It became a kind of challenge to see exactly how much of a story I could get which was uniquely centred around chocolate.” Rich with metaphor and gorgeous writing...sit back and gorge yourself on Chocolat.

Paradise Lost

Rural Idyll and Social Change Since 1800

Author: Jeremy Burchardt

Publisher: I.B.Tauris

ISBN: 0857715534

Category: History

Page: 264

View: 765

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The British countryside is in crisis: tensions have never been greater between town and country; between the conflicting needs of farming and the environment; and between a government seen as anti-countryside and the disillusioned majority that inhabit it._x000D_ _x000D_ _x000D_ But how has the land, so fundamental to the fabric of British life, become such a charged issue? This sweeping history of the British countryside since the industrial revolution provides an answer by viewing it not simply as a tool of the farming industry (which previous histories have tended towards) but rather as an object of consumption in its own right, a well of nature and beauty enjoyed by a population increasingly in search of leisure and inspiration, relaxation and entertainment. But, as an antidote to the harshness of an urbanised world, the countryside has itself come increasingly under pressure from that very world – not least because of the fraught relationship between the radically different interests of agriculture and the environment. _x000D_ _x000D_ As mass mobility since World War II has seen ever-growing numbers in pursuit of leisure in the environment, Paradise Lost asks whether the idyll that they seek is in fact an artificial confection – a myth created by writers like Thomas Hardy, DH Lawrence and EM Forster – and reinforced by bodies that aim to promote the land, including The National Trust and the Council for the Preservation of Rural England and groups seeking to promote animal welfare, food safety and an end to rural degradation._x000D_ _x000D_ _x000D_ The ‘Town versus Countryside’ debate has never been more urgent or more highly-charged and it lies at the root of modern British political, economic, social, and cultural life. Jeremy Burchardt here provides a significant contribution to that debate and demonstrates that we cannot hope to understand or address it without an appreciation of how our own attitudes to the countryside have developed and altered over the last two hundred years.

The Sociology of Rural Life

Author: Samantha Hillyard

Publisher: Berg

ISBN: 1845201388

Category: Social Science

Page: 188

View: 4671

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Foot and mouth disease and BSE have both had a devastating impact on rural society. Alongside these devastating developments, the rise of the organic food movement has helped to revitalize an already politicized rural population. From fox-hunting to farming, the vigour with which rural activities and living are defended overturns received notions of a sleepy and complacent countryside. Over the years "rural life" has been defined, redefined and eventually fallen out of fashion as a sociological concept--in contrast to urban studies, which has flourished. This much-needed reappraisal calls for its reinterpretation in light of the profound changes affecting the countryside. First providing an overview of rural sociology, Hillyard goes on to offer contemporary case studies that clearly demonstrate the need for a reinvigorated rural sociology. Tackling a range of contentious issues--from fox-hunting to organic farming--this book offers a new model for rural sociology and reassesses its role in contemporary society.

The January Man

A Year of Walking Britain

Author: Christopher Somerville

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1473527139

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 384

View: 7118

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'Evocatively written and charming' - Countryfile The January Man is the story of a year of walks that was inspired by a song, Dave Goulder’s ‘The January Man’. Month by month, season by season and region by region, Christopher Somerville walks the British Isles, following routes that continually bring his father to mind. As he travels the country – from the winter floodlands of the River Severn to the lambing pastures of Nidderdale, the towering seabird cliffs on the Shetland Isle of Foula in June and the ancient oaks of Sherwood Forest in autumn – he describes the history, wildlife, landscapes and people he encounters, down back lanes and old paths, in rain and fair weather. This exquisitely written account of the British countryside not only inspires us to don our boots and explore the 140,000 miles of footpaths across the British Isles, but also illustrates how, on long-distance walks, we can come to an understanding of ourselves and our fellow walkers. Over the hills and along the byways, Christopher Somerville examines what moulded the men of his father’s generation – so reticent about their wartime experiences, so self-effacing, upright and dutiful – as he searches for ‘the man inside the man’ that his own father really was.

The Country and the City

Author: Raymond Williams

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780195198102

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 335

View: 1292

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As a brilliant survey of English literature in terms of changing attitudes towards country and city, Williams' highly-acclaimed study reveals the shifting images and associations between these two traditional poles of life throughout the major developmental periods of English culture.