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Rural Rides (Macdonald classics) Hardcover – 20 Mar 1975

14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 500 pages
  • Publisher: Macdonald; facsim.of 1830e. edition (20 Mar. 1975)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0356081184
  • ISBN-13: 978-0356081182
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,217,566 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 61 people found the following review helpful By John D. Andrews on 5 Feb. 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book, written by a man whose passions are plain for all to see. His obvious love for the English countryside and the people who work it are equalled only by his bitter contempt for those who rule. The descriptions of the places he visits are beautifully observed and have you fumbling for your roadmap with an itching desire to go and see them for yourself. He views the land he passes through farmers eyes, and the work is somehow elevated by this injection of knowledge and experience. People with radical tendencies will sympathise with much of the political comment that he makes and wonder if he would think much has changed in the almost two hundred years that has elapsed since he wrote this book. I would like to have seen more editorial explanations of many of the terms and expressions he uses which are now out of use.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By William Pike on 15 May 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The best bits are where Cobbett rides through a landscape that you know well today. He was a keen observer of nature and agriculture, and you can get a wonderful image of how the land has changed, or where it has stayed the same. His political polemics on the cost of corn and agricultural policy are a bit difficult to follow almost 200 years later. And, on a more trivial note, I was amazed at how many turnips were being grown all across England at that time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cadfan Country on 10 July 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read Cobbett's account of his year in America several years ago (great fun) and have been meaning to tackly Rural Rides ever since.
A bit repetitive, as it gathers together articles from a number of issues of his periodical, but fascinating as it reflects the importance of farming, his eye for country and farming possibilities and the effect on "ordinary" people of the Corn Laws and the Enclosures Acts.
I'm only half way through so far. I recomend taking it in bits, as its contents originally appeared in that way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. Hughes on 30 Jan. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is fascinating for a variety of reasons :

Geographical. It is really interesting to read his descriptions and impressions of the landscape he is passing through and references to the various towns and villages.

Historical & Political. If you have any understanding of what has been happening in the UK (Peterloo massacre and the Corn laws) then Cobbett's anger about the prices of livestock and conditions for rural workers will make a lot more sense. He connected really well with a lot of working class people that riled various parts of The Establishment.

The man. The reason I only gave four stars was Cobbett's writing style which can be repetitive and too detailed for an audience 200 years later. His language and observations provide an insight about the author that helps bring the words to life for me.

I found it hard to read large chunks due to the, sometimes stifling, amount of detail. In small doses it's extremely interesting
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By peterg on 17 Sept. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Although it would perhaps not interest the average city dweller I found this book is extremely is enlightening in its views of a previous way of life because it is taken by from author's diaries 200 years ago wheras we are mostly used to reading a fictional or retrospective accounts of those times which omit the little details and personal observations of day of day life of a lost generation. William Cobbett's observations about farmers and trades people and rurural lifes in his era casts a different light upon them from what we are used to hearing nowadays.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Bailey on 7 April 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The problem I had in writing this review, was to decide which category it should be reviewed under
I finally decided it was a guide, not primarily a travel guide, as the title suggests, but a guide to a period in English History.
It could be sub titled "The Impact of the Industrial Revolution on Rural England"
Cobbett writes on this topic both passionately and powerfully. It is to this subtitle thatr I have rated it as 5 Star.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr Graham Cooper on 1 Feb. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Cobbett's prejudices and enthusiasms shine through every page, but he unwittingly reveals plenty about hard daily life in his era
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