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The Cotswolds Hardcover – 1 Jan 1994

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Phillimore & Co Ltd; 1st.ed. edition (1 Jan. 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0850338832
  • ISBN-13: 978-0850338836
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 2 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,296,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ukhuman1st on 5 July 2007
Format: Hardcover
The jacket cover note for this book claims that it "is the first detailed history of the [Cotswolds] region, as a whole, and of the evolution of its unique character." But readers will quickly discover that its scope is actually far more limited. On page 21, the author explains the early use of the term 'Cotswold' to cover what most modern readers would regard as the Northern Cotswolds, roughly north of the A40, and explains that "these places define the true Cotswolds, described in this book." But she admits that "since [the 16th Century], the name has been applied to an increasingly wide area." Anyone wanting to know about the history of this whole wider area will therefore be sadly disappointed, as a glance at the index will confirm. There are very few references even to the major towns of Cirencester, Cheltenham or Tetbury, and none at all to Stroud, Nailsworth, Dursley and well-known places like the Duntisbournes, Bisley, Miserden, Minchinhampton, Fairford and many other towns regarded today as quintessentially Cotswold. The omission of the Stroud valleys means that the importance of the Industrial revolution on that part of the world is not covered at all. But Anthea Jones' history is also limited in other respects, as it really says nothing at all about the Ancient Cotswold and the Roman occupation, and very little about the 20th century. Indeed, I would suggest that a much more fitting (albeit less snappy) title for this book would be along the lines "A History of Land Tenure in the Northern Cotswolds since the Anglo-Saxons".

These negative comments are, of course, about what the book is NOT. However, in respect of those areas of history it does cover, the book is full of excellent scholarship and detail.
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By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 April 2015
Format: Hardcover
Anthea Jones formerly taught history at Cheltenham Ladies’ College, so is in a good position to write a history of the Cotswolds. This is a review of the original 1994 edition, comprising an introduction and twelve chapters over its 238 pages. There are thirty-six colour plates as well as 137 figures in the text, and the endpapers comprise extracts from mid-Victorian maps.

In her introduction Jones makes clear in her opening sentence that her focus will be on the northern part of the region: “The heartland of the Cotswolds is north of the Oxford to Cheltenham road,” asserting later in the book that the origin of the name can be located here and thereafter became “applied to an increasingly wide area.” Notwithstanding that she gives no consideration to the ‘cot’ element being related to the Celtic ‘coed’ (and the presence of other Celtic place-names in the immediate landscape such as Avon, Bredon, etc.), the result of her decision is that the cloth-producing southern half of the Cotswolds is virtually ignored. (Whilst the index has seventy-four page entries for ‘Chipping Campden’, there are only fourteen for ‘Cirencester.’)

Instead, Jones mentions that, “Four main themes in Cotswold history are also the themes of the history of the English landscape: the patterns of the farmed countryside, of the fields and woods; the influence of the church; the division into manors and the power of manorial lords; and the relationships between settlement, the hamlets, villages and towns.” And it is these on which she concentrates in the ensuing twelve chapters. These are thematic but follow mostly in a broad chronological order.

She starts with Domesday, which is analysed in some detail.
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By Petra Gregory on 25 July 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent book about the Cotswold
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