Item description for Unquiet Country: Voices of the Rural Poor, 1820 -1880 by Robert Lee Lee Robert...
Beneath the surface, the early Victorian countryside seethed with bitterness and resentment, and occasionally with outright rebellion. Injustice was as much a part of the landscape as hedgerows and oaks. We rarely hear the voices of the rural poor - the labourers dependent on casual labour, the workhouse inmates, the dispossessed. This book lets them tell their own story.
Robert Lee draws on a remarkable set of historical sources from Norfolk which show how the experience of poverty could lead people to social transgression and political resistance. Using verbatim dramatisations of court records, he presents a series of six disturbing true stories, and assesses what each tells us about the reality of rural society. Insurrection, riot, execution, witchcraft, seduction - they all featured as the dark side of the Age of Improvement.
The book's contents give a flavour of the stories:
'Seems we have a Revolution on our Hands'; Lady Catherine and the Arch-fiend; Countdown to a Riot; The Strange Case of Elizabeth Rudd's baby; The Banningham Witchcraft Letters; Rabbits, Rights and Radicals; Finding Patterns.
Against the odds the poor tried to keep alive the political flame lit by Thomas Rainsborough two centuries before: 'the poorest he that is in England hath a life to live as the greatest he.' Radicalism could have rural as well as urban roots.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.35" Width: 5.43" Height: 0.63" Weight: 0.53 lbs.
Release Date Feb 28, 2006
Publisher Windgather Press
ISBN 1905119038 ISBN13 9781905119035