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Return to Akenfield: Portrait of an English Village in the 21st Century (2006)

von Craig Taylor

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543375,183 (4.1)1
"Ronald Blythe's 1969 book Akenfield - a moving portrait of English country life told in the voices of the farmers and villagers themselves - is a modern classic. On the 35th anniversary of its publication, writer Craig Taylor returned to the village in Suffolk on which Akenfield was based. Over several months he sought out locals who appeared in the original book to learn how their lives had changed, met newcomers to discuss their own views and interviewed Ronald Blythe himself"--container.… (mehr)
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    Akenfield: Portrait of an English Village von Ronald Blythe (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.… (mehr)
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Bought 18 Nov 2010 - Oxfam

An update of the original Ronald Blythe "Akenfield", which I've been looking for for ages. Although it was interesting and had interviews with Blythe himself, it didn't really seem to have any of the original characters or families (I might be wrong here) and seemed distanced from the original somehow. I found it quite depressing to see what was becoming of our lovely countryside and farming tradition although there were glimmers of hope.

I'm going to offer a double bookring of the 2 books, to allow people to have the chance to read the two together... ( )
  LyzzyBee | Mar 19, 2011 |
40 years on, Craig Taylor returns to "Akenfield", made famous by Ronald Blythe's 1960s exploration or rural Suffolk. Taylor parallels Blythe's approach and reports his interviews of local resident giving, fascinating and appropriately, the first and last word to an 83-year-old Blythe. Things have certainly changed, though there is much that is the same. Farms and the land remain prominents, but interviewees now include a wide range of entrepreneurial skills and immigrant workers. An example of the change comes in this comment - "As land has gone out of agricultural production, the pressure to build is increasing and increasing. They're not growing crops in this area, they're growing houses. Houses are the ultimate crop - the crop the landowner retires on, bless him. ...... In the 1960s Akenfield was still quite a mysterious, closed community from an economic point of view. These days the villagers have a much more open approach to life. The majority of people living in the more salubrious houses in Akenfield either commute to London or Ipswich or 'telework' from home." (p. 115). The book certainly depicts a changed community, though not entirely so - but it takes less workers and more machinery to operate a farm and the farmers are more hands-on. The two books - Blythe's and Taylor's - went together well for me. I enjoyed both - and found them a fascinating reflection of rural life.
  urcinc | Apr 25, 2009 |
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"Ronald Blythe's 1969 book Akenfield - a moving portrait of English country life told in the voices of the farmers and villagers themselves - is a modern classic. On the 35th anniversary of its publication, writer Craig Taylor returned to the village in Suffolk on which Akenfield was based. Over several months he sought out locals who appeared in the original book to learn how their lives had changed, met newcomers to discuss their own views and interviewed Ronald Blythe himself"--container.

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