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The English Village: History and Traditions by [Wainwright, Martin]
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The English Village: History and Traditions Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Length: 192 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Page Flip: Enabled

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Product Description

Review

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)

Book Description

A fascinating compendium of interesting details, facts, customs and lore, this is an unabashed celebration of the English village, as well as a record of an almost vanished world.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4280 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • 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:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #257,511 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By S. J. Williams TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 24 Oct. 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Martin Wainwright's short book on the English village is an easy but very enjoyable and exceptionally informative read. The brief is to explore the validity of what is best summed up in Simon Jenkins assertion that the English imagine that, 'an English village is like a medieval monastery, a place apart, yet blessed with an innate goodness that trickles down to the rest of society'. It is organised into chapters which read like short essays, each taking a specific aspect of village life and development over the centuries. It is not exactly a history; more a series of threads which take us through the development of the village, and how these developments were responses to social and political change.

Part of Wainwright's purpose is to explain why the village is so important in the English character, and why even the most urbanised citizen has some deeply engrained folk-sense that 'the village' is part of what makes up 'Englishness'. Headings like 'The Big House', 'God's Acre', 'Festivals and Frolics', 'Making and Milling' (a little too much alliteration in these chapters' headings gives the contents page a 'tweeness' the book itself belies) give some sense of the areas covered: the link between and roles of the manor house and settlement; the church as a focus of and stimulus to village life; the shared experience of celebration and enjoyment; the breadth of crafts and industries in the spectrum of village life, and so on. There are many wonderful insights.

These topics are addressed with a lightness of touch which masks the research underpinning the book and Wainwright's knowledge and enthusiasm: each chapter is full of arresting insights and interesting facts about the origins of names, customs etc.
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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A lot of information crammed in too few pages. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it as a start for further in depth research on the subject. Pity there are only black and white woodcut illustrations; maybe pbhotographs/colour drawings would have made the book a bit more appealing.
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By elsie purdon TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 Mar. 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
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 into something I can recognise and enjoy; a living place that people dwell in. In this book It just doesn't happen. There are plenty of interesting little details and facts about villages, but they don't convey the sense of a living place, past or present. In fact I think this book might be more relevant in the future when all villages are sucked dry as they become places reserved for holiday homes or second homes!

This book informs us on the history, vaguely, of the English Village. How it changed by the Norman Conquest and again by the Enclosures Act. Villages are believed to have begun in the 4th century AD founded by the Anglo-Saxons who settled in Britain. This is when we can see the pattern of church, manor house, mill and homes. Before then it was not known for certain how we lived, though during Roman times it would have been a case of little homes growing around the large and grand main Villa.
I did not agree with the author's assertion that the Romans occupied Britain along the realpolitik lines of "don't cause us any trouble and we will protect you and keep order." I am thinking of Queen Boudica's tribe having to fight the Romans who were attempting and succeeding in taking away her husband's land and wealth upon his death. My point here is that the history is far more complex than this book suggests.
Again when the author is writing about Yew Trees and Churchyards, he states that they are grown in church yards to prevent the village livestock poisoning themselves on the berries and leaves.
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