A Brief History of the Countryside in 100 Objects

by Sally Coulthard

£22.00

Nature; Reference; History

Hardback

9780008559427

Published by HarperCollins Publishers

Published February 2024

Books > History > Nature > Reference

The untold story of rural Britain revealed through its artefacts

For most of human history, we were rural folk.

Our daily lives were bound up with working the land, living within the rhythm of the seasons. We poured our energies into growing food, tending to animals and watching the weather. Family, friends and neighbours were often one and the same. Life revolved around the village and its key spaces and places – the church, the green, the school and the marketplace.

And yet rural life is oddly invisible our historical records. The daily routine of the peasant, the farmer or the craftsperson could never compete with the glamour of city life, war and royal drama. Lives went unrecorded, stories untold.

There is, though, one way in which we can learn about our rural past. The things we have left behind provide a connection that no document can match; physical artefacts are touchstones that breathe life into its history. From farming tools to children’s toys, domestic objects and strange curios, the everyday items of the past reveal fascinating insights into an often-forgotten way of life. Birth, death, celebration, work, crime, play, medicine, beliefs, diet and our relationship with nature can all be read from these remnants of our past.

From ancient artefacts to modern-day memorabilia, this startling book weaves a rich tapestry from the fragments of our rural past.

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