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The English Village: History and Traditions

The English Village: History and Traditions [Kindle Edition]

Martin Wainwright
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

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Product Description


A perfect introduction to the subject (Yorkshire Evening Post)

Jam-packed with interesting facts ... celebrates all aspects of village life (Family History Monthly)

a quirky and fascinating look at more than 15 centuries of rural dwelling, covering everything from cottage industries to rustic superstitions (Countryside Voice)

Product Description

The village remains a quintessential and much-loved treasure of the English countryside. This rural idyll has inspired generations of great poets, novelists and artists including the likes of Constable, Hardy, Wordsworth, as well as providing the picturesque setting for modern TV series such as "Lark Rise to Candleford and Cranford". "The English Village" celebrates all that is unique and loved about a typical village - the pub, the green, the school, the church, the pond, the local shop and more - as well as exploring how the village has changed over the centuries. Also includes fascinating information on the origins of village names - Siddington, for example, means the farm of the valley (sidd: valley, in: belonging to, ton: farmland). Filled with facts, figures, customs and lore, there is a wealth of fascinating information to be discovered in this charming book.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1316 KB
  • Print Length: 193 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1843177129
  • Publisher: Michael O'Mara Books (13 Oct 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005OR0XYW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #183,603 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting read by a true lover of villages 11 Dec 2011
By downkiddie TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This attractive little book is a beauitfully written ode to village life. I read it cover to cover on a rainy December afternoon and it made me yearn for summer days exploring hidden corners of our green and pleasant land.

It's a book to read as a whole rather than a reference book to dip in and out of it since the author refers back to earlier mentions and past chapters. It's divided into chapters on subjects close to village life such as the church, the manor house, farming and of course the pub. It brings us from the pre-Roman era right up to date, with mentions of research into dark matter down village mines and, inevitably, Downton Abbey.

The enchanting text throws up many interesting nuggets of information. For example, the origins of the name for morris dancing, what the surname "Baxter" means and lots more. While lamenting losses the author celebrates the great, and whilst remembering past suffering in villages he points out the warmth and generosity of forgotten people of the past.

Coming from Leeds, the book has a bit of a Yorkshire bias, which is no bad thing at all. Many of the author's examples and anecdotes hail from Yorkshire, but there are many from across England as well as Wales and Scotland. The book is cloth bound and features woodcut-style illustrations throughout, with a timeless charm on its dustjacket.

An attractivly presented little book, more than just a pretty gift.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction 29 Nov 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a nice introduction to the 'English' village. It's well produced, with good illustrations, but is not a substantive book. Physically it's fairly small and whilst providing an accessible and interesting read it's not a reference work. It's much more an introduction to wouldbe local historians and others interested in the development of English rural settlements over a millennia. As such it does a good job.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lightweight and dull 27 Dec 2011
By Donald Lush VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
It's hard to believe a book so short and light can also manage to be so dull and tiresome.

The tone is flat and as I read I kept being put in mind of a bored schoolmaster attempting, without enthusiasm, to fill his charges with knowledge that neither he nor they cared much about.

The subject, brilliantly treated by Hoskins in his "The Making of the English Landscape", is here reduced to a cosy travelogue of half hearted clichés and endless recitation of facts. The English village deserves much better.

On the plus side, both the cover and illustrations outclass the text by some distance, promising intrigue and delight that the text does not deliver.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful book 13 Dec 2011
By M. K. Burton VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Most of us, especially those of us who are literary, have a cozy image of a typical English village in our minds. Mine has definitely been imparted through reading, but has only been strengthened over the time I've lived in England. Uneven rows of thatched roof cottages, wide expanses of farmland, the rectory, and maybe even the manor house on the hill - it depends what historical period your mind works best in. Our ideal of the English village is more myth than any kind of reality, but that doesn't mean you can't still love them, and that is the contradiction that Wainwright explores in The English Village.

It's clear from the start that Wainwright loves the ideal of England as much as the rest of us do. The book is broken down into chapters concerning different aspects of the village, from those cottages I mentioned to the festivals that the villagers used to celebrate. The book concludes with a chapter on the potential future of the English village and the changes that have happened recently, namely a revival in village life and a determination to conserve the bits we have left for the future. Each chapter also contains black and white drawings of, usually, buildings mentioned in the text to give us a good idea of what we're reading about.

At the core this was really a delightful book. I loved the way that Wainwright pulled history into the idyllic vision that so many of us cherish - not to remove the dream, but to add a layer of realism to it. One of my favorite parts was when he mentioned that some cottages which are now valued at over one million pounds used to be houses for the poor. It's this dichotomy which sums up that contradiction; the now pretty villages had an underside which has mostly moved to the cities, leaving much of the countryside for the wealthy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What a book! 17 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Rarely have I enjoyed a book as much from cover to cover. To try and fit thousands of years of history into a couple of hundred pages would, in lesser hands, have seemed rushed and lacking in substance. However Mr Wainright has produced a brilliant tour of a fascinating subject equally enjoyable to us country village dwellers as well as our urban neighbours! This book should be required reading for anyone with even the smallest interest in the history of our island nation and the fascinating characters and happenings without which our history would be so much the poorer-I can assure all that the sooner the author turns his attention to another subject I will be first in the queue! Now everyone stop reading this review and go and read this book NOW!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 17 Aug 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Lots of facts, but all written in a very boring, pompous sounding way. I lost interest by the 5th page.
Very rarely do I not finish a book
It's a shame
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Short
A lot of information crammed in too few pages. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it as a start for further in depth research on the subject. Read more
Published 15 months ago by lovereading
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable little book
A small guide to the English village and covers the traditions and features of a typical village. The pub, village green, the church, manor house etc. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Minutor
4.0 out of 5 stars Too gentle?
Given that the English village has a thousand years of history, has been the scene of radical change and passionate defence, has influenced art, literature and music, has a... Read more
Published on 17 Jun 2012 by El Loro
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I live in a village so this book should have been right up my street or country lane. I have read and reread parts of the book trying to suck up the dry dusty facts and turn them... Read more
Published on 6 Mar 2012 by elsie purdon
2.0 out of 5 stars Dull and wordy
For such a small book, it packs in a lot of detail. The problem is after the first few pages I just didn't care any more. Read more
Published on 5 Mar 2012 by Ren
3.0 out of 5 stars A surprisingly poorly written treasure trove
The English Village is a treasure trove of information that venerates the English village as a great Anglo-Saxon institution. Read more
Published on 28 Feb 2012 by Max
5.0 out of 5 stars curious notion that works
This should not work as a book, but does. The notion of a generic 'english village' as a construct is highly dubious, as each location is unique to it's own history and geographic... Read more
Published on 17 Feb 2012 by Mr. M. L. Cawood-campbell
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely little book
This is a wonderful book about the phenomenon of the English village. It points out that it is a phenomenon too - something that is pretty much unique to these Isles. Read more
Published on 18 Dec 2011 by Nick C
4.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgia aint like it used to be
The English Village - History and Traditions
Martin Wainwright

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Published on 16 Dec 2011 by Dr. I. Cox
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