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59 of 59 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cobbett Country
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...
Published on 5 Feb 2004 by John D. Andrews

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars quotable passages which are brilliant.
I had read so many articles quoting this book, that I wanted to have a look at it. I found it difficult to read - he is a man of his time, and writing styles have improved I think. However, there are short and obviously, quotable passages which are brilliant.
Published 8 months ago by Elizabeth S. Wells


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59 of 59 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cobbett Country, 5 Feb 2004
By 
John D. Andrews "free democrat" (grantham, lincs United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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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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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revolution by a Revolutionary, 26 Aug 2008
By 
Ron Strutt "Ron Strutt" (Surrey, UK) - See all my reviews
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We think that recent decades have seen the greatest possible changes that mankind could possibly go through. We're wrong.

William Cobbett lived through an era that was breathtaking in the change that it experienced. The agrarian economy that had sustained the country for centuries was being pushed aside by the industrial revolution, indeed, agriculture was about to experience deep decline. In politics, the loss of the American colonies - the first step in the end of the Empire - still haunted the country. The age of patrician rule was about to yield - if no more than that - with the Reform Act of 1832.

Cobbett exemplifies the contradictions of this age - passionately opposed to 'modern' economics, yet deriding of the 'old ways', patrician yet a powerful advocate of the enhanced franchise.

Cobbett gives us a record of an important turning point in our country's history and sheds light upon the causes and impacts of this period of change. He offers us lessons that may be of equal relevance in our own period of immense change.

Apart from that, Cobbett paints us a picture of a landscape that is, on the one hand, so very familiar to us, but on the other, totally alien.

However, the editorial contribution of this version of his work is poor. That anyone in the early 21st century should understand the intricacies of early 19th century politics is asking too much, and the vital explanation and understanding that the average paperback reader needs is entirely missing.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rural Rides - An interesting pre-industrial revolution account., 13 Jun 2010
By 
Mr. Martin L. Harman "social historian" (Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
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For readers interested in the minutiae of rural life and the working and living conditions of the rural agricultural labourers around the time of the Industrial Revolution this book is a must. It influenced many later socialist thinkers including Karl Marx. Written by William Cobbett, himself born to working on the land as a humble bird scarer then a ploughboy, he later rose to prominence as an MP. The book provides a detailed and balanced account of the working poor in 19th Century England. The book is readable and the English refreshingly clear for works of this period, but I would not describe it as a page turner. I may be biassed however, since I am a descendent of William Cobbett!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rural Rides, 15 May 2013
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This review is from: Rural Rides (Kindle Edition)
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Rural Rides, William Cobbett, 22 Sep 2013
By 
Mr. R. Walker "Roger W" (Notts. UK) - See all my reviews
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Now in my 70s, I have intended to read this from my school days. I am really enjoying the view of the 19th Century
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Facinating, 10 July 2013
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars EYEWITNESS, 7 April 2013
By 
John Bailey (Berkshire) - See all my reviews
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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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4.0 out of 5 stars Historical curiosity, 1 Feb 2013
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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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4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating but the detail sometimes smothers his observations, 30 Jan 2013
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L. Hughes (Maidenhead, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rural Rides (Kindle Edition)
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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4.0 out of 5 stars A very interesting book, 14 Jan 2013
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The book is a copy of the original text so it seems rather quaint at times. It is very interesting to hear the authers views on conditions of rural communities in the 1830s.
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