The romantic imagery of village England and the prominence that this commands in English cultural identity is well known. Yet just how accurate is this notion of the rural idyll in which the organic nature of village life was gradually undermined, and destroyed, by social and economic factors? Trevor Wild's text explores the evolution of "village England" from the earliest times to the present. Drawing upon both contemporary accounts and scholarship, he provides and engaging and revealing account of the major transformation affecting the English village. Of particular interest is the book's coverage of the more recent past, with the whittling away of the great estates, the appearance of such institutions as the village hall and the development of alternative systems of power such as the councils.
Trevor Wild is an Honorary Fellow of the University of Hull, where he was Senior Lecturer in Geography before his retirement.
List of Figures. List of Plates. Preface and Acknowledgements. Introduction. One Origins, Organic Quality and Geographical Context; The First Transformation: Village England and the Parliamentary Enclosures; Villages of Poverty and Rioting: Rural England in the Bleak Age; High Farming and the 'Ordered' Rural Society; Villages in Decay: Rural England in the Agricultural Depression; Village England in the Inter-War Years; The Second Transformation: Village England in the Post-War Era. Epilogue; Notes; Bibliography; Index.