By William Cobbett

With a said 8,000 humans attending his funeral in 1835, William Cobbett (1763-1835) is remembered as the most vocal and dedicated champions of political reform in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain. Returning to England in 1800 from self-imposed political exile, Cobbett used to be deeply surprised through the advances of the commercial Revolution. the agricultural tradition to which he used to be committed was once being destroyed and, a very glossy journalist, he without notice wanted 'to see the rustic, to work out the farmers at domestic, and to work out the labourers within the fields'. Cobbett rode in the course of the cities and villages of britain, giving voice to the plight of the oppressed labouring sessions. His observations, first released in serial shape among 1822 and 1826, have been titled Rural Rides. they're an elegy to standard agriculture, and the most broad social commentaries ever released on agrarian existence within the early 19th century.

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Extra info for Rural Rides in the Counties: Surrey, Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, Wiltshire,Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Somersetshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and Hertfordshire

Sample text

So that, all depends on the weather, which appears to be clearing up in spite of S A I N T S W I T H I N . This Saint's birth-day is the 15th of July ; and it is said, that, if rain fall on his birth-day, it will fall on forty days successively. But, I believe, that you reckon retrospectively as well as prospectively; and, if this be the case, we may, this time, escape the extreme unction; for, it began to rain on the 26th of June; so that it rained 19 days before the 15th of July ; and, as it has rained 16 days since, it has rained, in the whole, 35 days, and, of course, five days more will satisfy this wet soul of a saint.

You know, as well as J do, that it is impossible, with the present taxes and rates and tithes, to pay any rent at all with prices upon that scale. Let loan-jobbers, stock-jobbers, Jews, and the whole tribe of tax-eaters say what they will, you know that it is impossible, as you also know it would be cruelly unjust to wring from the labourer the means of paying rent, while those taxes and tithes remain. Something must be taken off. The labourers' wages have already been reduced as low as possible.

This country though so open, has its beauties. The homesteads in the sheltered'bottoms with tine lofty trees about the houses and yards, form 44 RURAL a beautiful contrast with the large open fields* The little villages, running straggling along the dells (always with lofty trees and rookeries) are very interesting objects, even in the winter. You feel a sort of satisfaction, when you are out upon the bleak hills yourself, at the thought of the shelter, which is experienced in the dwellings in the vallies.

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