Cobbett, William - Rural Rides - ( Item 109127 )
Published in London by Folio Society. 2010. First Thus. Fine Hardback. No inscriptions or bookplates. Near Fine slipcase. Slight bumps to the edges of two panels. William Cobbett was one of the most remarkable characters of the 19th century. Born in Surrey and raised as a ploughboy or 'human scarecrow in a little blue smock' as he put it, he became a soldier and then a political journalist, covering the revolution in France and later based in Philadelphia. In 1821, having returned home from America, he began a series of journeys across southern England to see how the countryside there had changed since his childhood. The resulting book, Rural Rides, is a classic portrait of rural life just before the industrial revolution. Praised by writers from Matthew Arnold to A. J. P. Taylor, it has never been out of print since it was first published in 1830. These 'rides' take Cobbett back to his roots at a wonderfully intimate and leisurely pace. He goes to Selborne in Hampshire, where a parson has recently been shot at, and Thursley in Surrey, where the entire parish is eagerly awaiting a fox-hunt, 'as happy as if all were young and all just going to be married'. With a farmer's insight, he notes the crops and the condition of the soil, and he is passionate about the condition of the poor and what he sees as the steady decline of rural life in the face of urban expansion. Though much of what he encountered has long vanished, many of Cobbett's observations - on the losses made by farmers, the corruption of politicians and the devaluation of currency - strike a chord today. Robust and delightfully plain-speaking, Cobbett pours scorn on the Martello Towers built to repulse Napoleon ('I dare say they cost MILLIONS'), on the 'bullfrog', or greedy landowner, and on the 'Wen', or boil, as he calls London. He is eloquent on the beauties of the English countryside, and on the importance for labourers of the three Bs: bacon, bread and beer. As Richard Ingrams points out in a new introduction, Cobbett possessed 'an attitude of mind distinctly English, combining radical beliefs with conservative instincts, an obstinate individuality and, above all, the ability to make his readers laugh'. Rural Rides is a masterful portrait, both of an age and of a towering personality.
Price £ 7.20 Other items you may like Others by the same author
To buy this item online using any major credit or debit card or Paypal, click the appropriate delivery option below to add the item to your basket, depending on where you are in the world. Alternatively please contact us at RNewbury@ardis.co.uk for further information or to order with payment by direct bank transfer or cheque if you are in the UK.
Safe and Secure Online Buying
To buy online, please click the appropriate postage option in the item boxes above. You will be transferred to secure pages hosted by Paypal, the largest online transaction processor in the world. You can pay with any major credit or debit card or by Paypal. When ordering multiple items in the UK, you may be entitled to a postage discount. This will be refunded when your order is received. If you prefer to pay by cheque, or would like a quotation for buying multiple items, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the unique item numbers required.
Money Back Guarantee, Secure Packaging and Fast Response
We are a major online trader with excellent feedback from satisfied customers on Amazon and Ebay (over 20,000 customers). We will refund your costs for items returned within seven days for any reason. If we are at fault we will also refund your return postage. Items are sent in top grade book boxes for protection. Large items or multiple purchases may be boxed. Items will be despatched within a day of receipt of your order, usually on the same day if ordered before noon.