At The Field's Edge: Adrian Bell and the English Countryside

At The Field's Edge: Adrian Bell and the English Countryside

by Richard Hawking

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Adrian Bell was farming and writing during a period when the English countryside underwent its most significant transformation for hundreds of years. His work, spanning sixty years from 1920 to 1980, not only documents this agricultural revolution, but also warns of the effects it will have both for the environment and for society. As these consequences dominate the English countryside today, Bell's views have relevance and importance to its future management. At the Field's Edge appraises Bell's prescient but still timely observations about the ecology, economy and culture of the British countryside, and introduces his beautifully crafted prose to a new generation of readers. Though he has been largely neglected until now, Bell's voice is one we should listen to, not least because he is one of our greatest writers about farming and rural life. If we pause at the field's edge with him for a moment, we get a lesson not only in aesthetic appreciation, but also a message about what is disappearing from the countryside.A thoughtful and engaging exploration of Adrian Bell's writing and his 'practical' relevance to contemporary debates about the English countryside.The period from 1920 to 1980 saw the most significant transformation of the countryside for hundreds of years.Will be of great interest to British and rural historians and anyone interested in rural affairs.Examines factors that continue to impact and jeopardize the countryside; the rise of industrial farming and its environmental impact and the growing separation of the country and the city.Illustrated with black&white photographs and artworks.Richard Hawking's interest in the writing of Adrian Bell stems from growing up on a small 70-acre farm - he is also the creator of The Adrian Bell Society website.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780719829079
Publisher: Crowood Press, The
Publication date: 04/22/2019
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
File size: 6 MB

About the Author

Richard Hawking's interest in the writing of Adrian Bell, rural communities and the countryside stems from his own time growing up on a small, 70-acre farm in Somerset. Like Adrian Bell, his father - and his uncle and grandfather - ran small mixed-method farms and they struggled to see the long-term wisdoms of the changes in agricultural practice in the mid-twentieth century. Richard furthered his interest in Bell's work with the creation of The Adrian Bell Society website, which he now edits. He also created and edits The Walter de la Mare Society website. Richard is currently an English Teacher at The Royal Grammar School, Worcester.

Table of Contents

Foreword 6

Acknowledgements 9

Preface 11

Introduction: At the Field's Edge 13

1 Rural England and Agricultural Change 23

2 People, Land and Landscape: A Rural Trilogy 37

3 A Declining Tradition: The Drift from the Land 65

4 A Countryside Worth Fighting For 85

5 A Plea for a Return to Husbandry 109

6 The Quiet Revolution: The Capitalization of the Countryside 139

7 A Growing Separation: The Country and the City 159

8 The Altered Rhythm of the Land 181

Conclusion: The Nature of Materials 201

Epilogue 212

Bibliography 217

Index 220

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