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Akenfield: Portrait of an English Village

Tekijä: Ronald Blythe

Muut tekijät: Katso muut tekijät -osio.

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
7911827,513 (4.03)28
This colourful, perceptive portrayal of English country life reverberates with the voices of the village inhabitants, from the reminiscences of survivors of the Great War evoking days gone by, to the concerns of a younger generation of farm-workers and the fascinating and personal recollections of, among others, the local schoolteacher, doctor, blacksmith, saddler, district nurse and magistrate. Providing insights into farming, education, welfare, class, religion and death, Akenfieldforms a unique document of a way of life that has, in many ways, disappeared.… (lisätietoja)
Viimeisimmät tallentajatumlaufcp, page75, HCaner, heggiep, NickHolder, deweyquilt, Ghost1y, whichcord
PerintökirjastotGillian Rose, W. H. Auden
  1. 10
    Return to Akenfield: Portrait of an English Village in the 21st Century (tekijä: Craig Taylor) (chrisharpe)
    chrisharpe: Published in 1969, Ronald Blythe's "Akenfield" is a portrait of early C20th English rural life recounted by Suffolk farmers and villagers. Thirty five years later, Craig Taylor returned to the area on which Akenfield was based and conducted interviews with locals to find out how their lives had changed, as well as interviewing the octogenarian Ronald Blythe. Both books are classics of English environmental literature.… (lisätietoja)
  2. 00
    Ask the Fellows Who Cut the Hay (tekijä: George Ewart Evans) (chrisharpe)
  3. 00
    Lifting the Latch (tekijä: Sheila Stewart) (chrisharpe)
  4. 00
    Ulverton (tekijä: Adam Thorpe) (chrisharpe)
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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 18) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
This is a pen-portrait of a Suffolk village in the late 1960s. As well as an introduction to the village, its population and working life, the author includes descriptions of many of the people who live in the village, from farm-workers to teachers, blacksmiths to retired army captains, thatchers and shepherds to farmers and members of the Women's Institute, plus other important characters like the district nurse, the vet, the magistrate and the gravedigger.
Blythe's descriptions of the characters of village life are often two-tone, which is to say that he provides a narrative about how the person fits in to village life and what sort of person they are, and that is followed by a passage, reportage-style, in their own words, of that person's thoughts and views on their lives and their place in society.
Taken together, these two styles of narrative make interesting reading, as this collection of rural voices make themselves heard via an introductory piece by the author about their position and status in the village.
This is a lovely portrayal of rural life in East Anglia midway through the last century. ( )
  SunnyJim | Jun 30, 2023 |
Wonderful book. So many insights to Suffolk village life between the wars. The remnants of the feudal system; deference of the working class, arrogance of the landed class. At times brutal and unsympathetic. Suffolk folk were tradionally reluctant to express true feelings but these characters so insightful and articulate. Reminded me of Dad's suspicion of middle-class professional newcomers to the village! Destroys the illusion of a golden age of village life. But so many memorable characters and stories. ( )
  BobCurry | Jun 13, 2023 |
This is at first sight a similar project to Ask the fellows who cut the hay, an oral history project based around the residents of a small Suffolk village. Blythe merged the real villages of Charsfield and Debach, where he lived, into the fictitious "Akenfield" to protect the privacy of his contributors. But it's not quite the same thing. Where Evans focusses on memories of pre-mechanical times, Blythe is really more interested in how the village works now, in the late 1960s. It's oral sociology, rather than history. The villagers' memories of earlier times are relevant for the context it gives to their present attitudes to their work, the people they work for, and the kind of aspirations they have, but the past here isn't a disappearing world of splendid traditions so much as an era of social inequality, squalid living conditions, poor education and low wages. A time when men left the village only to be killed pointlessly in South Africa or Flanders.

That isn't to say that Blythe is an uncritical supporter of "progress" — his contributors note that agricultural wages are still very low compared to unskilled factory jobs, that the agricultural workers' union has little real power to change things, and that technical college courses for farm-workers (he talks to both students and lecturers) don't seem to be designed to help young people advance in their jobs.

Moreover, it's clear (even more so 60 years on!) that farms in 1967 were still going through big technical transitions in directions many farmers and farm-workers weren't happy with — factory-farming of pigs and poultry, heavy use of chemicals, etc.

A fascinating book, very influential at the time, and much less dated than you might expect. ( )
  thorold | Sep 3, 2022 |
Ronald Blythe's 'strange journey to a familiar land' is an oral history classic. Written more than 40 years ago, it still seems quite fresh. It is prescient - documenting the beginnings of factory farming and monoculture. It makes observations about people retiring to the village for a life in the country - who purchase plants from garden centres and can name 100 different kinds of roses, but have no idea what grows in the hedgerows. The book can also be heartbreaking, full of loneliness and stifled ambitions.

I know there was a follow-up written in the 1980's , but it does not give us updates on individuals. I would like to know what happened to some of their hopes and dreams. ( )
  dylkit | Jul 16, 2022 |
Pleasing and personal account of a small English village over time. The period covered, the mid-twentieth century, bestrides plentiful social changes (but would perhaps every age seem so, if one could listen in, as we do here, to elders looking back over the times they've lived through)? Some of the reminiscing and reporting here evokes the directness and mundane detail found in the Mass Observation project, just as the stories and descriptions that Blythe collects from villagers show the same honest and unaffected authenticity that Richard Hoggart examined sympathetically in The Uses of Literacy not too many years earlier. ( )
  eglinton | Mar 22, 2020 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 18) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
What does it feel like to be anyone other than ourselves?

The great subject of Akenfield, and the reason it remains such a vital book to read now, even in America, thousands of miles from its milieu, is the ways people grapple with changes in the patterns of life in their own time—whether through social flux, cultural variation, demographic shifts, technological progress, environmental degradation, or some combination. Blythe recognized that under the placid surface of a place as seemingly unchanging as Akenfield lay a clash of virtual tectonic plates, as a class-riven, tradition-bound, nearly feudal community began to erupt and fissure.
 

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Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Blythe, Ronaldensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Bailey, PeterKuvittajamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Lindberg, Magnus K:sonKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
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To John Nash
Ensimmäiset sanat
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The village lies folded away in one of the shallow valleys which dip into the East Anglia coastal plain.
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (1)

This colourful, perceptive portrayal of English country life reverberates with the voices of the village inhabitants, from the reminiscences of survivors of the Great War evoking days gone by, to the concerns of a younger generation of farm-workers and the fascinating and personal recollections of, among others, the local schoolteacher, doctor, blacksmith, saddler, district nurse and magistrate. Providing insights into farming, education, welfare, class, religion and death, Akenfieldforms a unique document of a way of life that has, in many ways, disappeared.

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