Villages of Britain: The Five Hundred Villages that Made the Countryside

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Bloomsbury Publishing, Aug 15, 2011 - History - 672 pages
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Villages of Britain is the
history of the countryside, told through five hundred of its most
noteworthy settlements. Many of Britain's villages are known for their
loveliness, of course, but their role in shaping the nation over the
centuries is relatively untold, drowned out by the metropolitan bias of

A consummate storyteller, Clive Aslet deftly weaves the worlds of
agriculture, politics, the arts, industry, folklore, science, ecology,
fashion and religion into one irresistible volume. The Bedfordshire
works that a century ago manufactured half a billion bricks a year; the
Cheshire municipality striving to become the country's first
carbon-neutral community; the Derbyshire estate where the cottages
represent the gamut of European architecture; the Gloucestershire
community founded by Tolstoyans, who still live by anarchic principles;
the Leicestershire town where pub walls are embedded with Jurassic-era
fossils; the Morayshire settlement where Hogmanay is celebrated eleven
days late; the Pembrokeshire fishing hamlet that inspired Dylan Thomas;
the Somerset village that was built on the back of the trade in
Peruvian bird droppings; the Suffolk village that is rejecting
modernity by reconstructing a windmill for grinding flour; the Surrey
woodland that fosters Europe's most ancient trees - all these are
places that have made a unique contribution to the narrative of this

Follow Clive Aslet in visiting all five hundred villages, and you will
have experienced the history of these islands from a uniquely rural

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About the author (2011)

Clive Aslet joined Country Life
in 1977, and is now Editor at Large. He writes extensively for national
newspapers, and often broadcasts on radio and television. His most
recent books were the highly acclaimed Landmarks of Britain and The English House.
An authority on British life, Clive is well known as a campaigner on
countryside and other issues. Married with three children, he divides
his time between London and Ramsgate.

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