Alternative living in the English countryside
Utopian colonies
in Working men’s bodies
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Ideas of land settlement have a long history in Britain. By the 1880s, a number of groups had developed proposals for alternative utopian colonies that would become the kernel of a new way of living. Ruskin’s ideas had a lasting and direct influence, particularly through the small colony associated with his Guild of St George. In 1892, Herbert V Mills launched his small Christian socialist colony at Starnthwaite, near Kendal. It was followed by a series of utopian colonies, including those associated with Tolstoy and Kropotkin, as well as a later Women’s Training Colony launched by supporters of the suffrage movement. Most of these ventures were under-capitalised, and suffered from interminable internal disputes, and failed to take root.

Working men’s bodies

Work camps in Britain, 1880–1940

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