Rural Rides

Rural Rides

Between 1821 and 1836 William Cobbett toured the southern English countryside by foot and on horseback, and Rural Rides is his remarkable account of what he saw. A prolific writer and journalist of genius, Cobbett matured into a radical left-wing politician, and a farmer who ensured his labourers had access to the three Bs: bacon, bread and beer. Recording swiftly changing ways of life, Rural Rides juxtaposes lyrical evocations of the countryside with attacks on the poverty of agricultural workers consigned to hovels with a diet of potatoes and tea. It remains one of the greatest celebrations of agrarian England, admired by thinkers as diverse as Marx, Chesterton and Belloc.

Title:Rural Rides
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780140435795
Format Type:

    Rural Rides Reviews

  • russell barnes

    Bonkers. On the one hand a really really boring series of rides around Surrey, Hampshire, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire during the 1820s. He describes fields of turnips almost relentlessly on eve...

  • Bettie

    http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/34238Opening: Fog that you might cut with a knife all the way from London to Newbury. This fog does not wet things. It is rather a smoke than a fog. There are no two th...

  • Patrick Murtha

    William Cobbett is a disagreeable character in some ways. He is a scold who rides his high horse, literally and figuratively, across early 19th century England. Unless you are really well up on the po...

  • Andrew

    One of those books I'd heard about for years, largely through E.P. Thompson's magisterial Making of the English Working Class, and basically just finished out of spite. Let me give you the tl;dr versi...

  • Brenda

    I couldn't follow all the of-his-time politics, nor stomach all the of-his-time prejudices and the still universal habit of name-calling. But the Rides are not boring, the descriptions of the landscap...

  • Thomas

    cool book. Cobbet has this pretty standard formula where first he describes the soil texture of a place and how good it is for growing turnips, and then he'll do a really cool rant about how the Pitt ...

  • Justin Tyers

    I loved this book for the glimpses (more than glimpses, really) into life in England in the 1820's. Whether it's chatting to farm labourers or squires; descriptions of the hospitality available in Inn...

  • Christine

    Very disappointing book. I was looking forward to reading another travel book especially as it covered places I knew, but an inflated ego, waffling and ridiculous generalisations got in the way. Concl...

  • Gwen

    It was a long haul to finish this book, reading 1% each day on my phone. The best parts are William Cobbett's observations of rural life in the 1820's in England and his wonder at the natural beauty o...

  • Lucy

    Long-forgotten - or, long-won - quarrels, turnips and bacon are the chief features of this work. Cobbett comes across as a chronically bad-tempered know-all. To be fair, the writing was probably less ...