British Rural Landscapes on Film offers wide-ranging critical insights into ways in which rural areas in Britain have been represented on film, from the silent era, through both world wars, and on into the contemporary period. The contributors to the book demonstrate that the countryside in Britain has provided a range of rich and dense spaces into which aspects of contested cultural identities have been projected. The essays in the book show how far British rural landscapes have performed key roles in a range of film genres including heritage, but also horror, art cinema, and children’s films. Films explored include Tawny Pipit (1944), A Canterbury Tale (1944), The Go-Between (1970), Blood on Satan’s Claw (1971), Another Time, Another Place (1983), On the Black Hill (1987), Wuthering Heights (2011), Jane Eyre (2011), and the Harry Potter and Nanny McPhee films. The book also includes new interviews with the filmmakers Gideon Koppel and Patrick Keiller. By focusing solely on rural landscapes, and often drawing on critical insight from art history and cultural geography, this book aims to transform our understanding of British cinema.
This is a study of how lifestyle choices intersect with migration, and how this relationship frames and shapes post-migration lives. It presents a conceptual framework for understanding post-migration lives that incorporates culturally specific imaginings, lived experiences, individual life histories, and personal circumstances. Through an ethnographic lens incorporating in-depth interviews, participant observation, life and migration histories, this monograph reveals the complex process by which migrants negotiate and make meaningful their lives following migration. By promoting their own ideologies and lifestyle choices relative to those of others, British migrants in rural France reinforce their position as members of the British middle class, but also take authorship of their lives in a way not possible before migration. This is evident in the pursuit of a better life that initially motivated migration and continues to characterise post-migration lives. As the book argues, this ongoing quest is both reflective of wider ideologies about living, particularly the desire for authentic living, and subtle processes of social distinction. In these respects, the book provides an empirical example of the relationship between the pursuit of authenticity and middle-class identification practices.
Intended for researchers, students, policymakers and practitioners, this book draws on detailed longitudinal fieldwork in rural south India to analyse the conditions of the rural poor and their patterns of change. Focusing on the three interrelated arenas of production, state, and civil society, it argues for a class-relational approach focused on forms of exploitation, domination and accumulation. The book focuses on class relations, how they are mediated by state institutions and civil society organisations, and how they vary within the countryside, when rural-based labour migrates to the city, and according to patterns of accumulation, caste dynamics, and villages’ levels of irrigation and degrees of remoteness. More specifically it analyses class relations in the agriculture and construction sectors, and among local government institutions, social movements, community-based organisations and NGOs. It shows how the dominant class reproduces its control over labour by shaping the activities of increasingly prominent local government institutions, and by exerting influence over the mass of new community-based organisations whose formation has been fostered by neoliberal policy. The book is centrally concerned with countervailing moves to improve the position of classes of labour. Increasingly informalised and segmented across multiple occupations in multiple locations, India’s ‘classes of labour’ are far from passive in the face of ongoing processes of exploitation and domination. Forms of labouring class organisation are often small-scale and tend to be oriented around the state and social policy. Despite their limitations, the book argues that such forms of contestation of government policy currently play a significant role in strategies for redistributing power and resources towards the labouring class, and suggests that they can help to clear the way for more broad-based and fundamental social change.
This book is the first comprehensive study of Muslim migrant integration in rural Britain across the post-1960s period. It uses the county of Wiltshire as a case study, and assesses both local authority policies and strategies, and Muslim communities’ personal experiences of migration and integration. It draws upon previously unexplored archival material and oral histories, and addresses a range of topics and themes, including entrepreneurship, housing, education, multiculturalism, social cohesion, and religious identities, needs and practices. It challenges the long-held assumption that local authorities in more rural areas have been inactive, and even disinterested, in devising and implementing migration, integration and diversity policies, and it sheds light on small and dispersed Muslim communities that have traditionally been written out of Britain’s immigration history. It reveals what is a clear, and often complex, relationship between rurality and integration, and shows how both local authority policies and Muslim migrants’ experiences have long been rooted in, and shaped by, their rural settings and the prevalence of small ethnic minority communities and Muslim populations in particular. The study’s findings and conclusions build upon research on migration and integration at the rural level, as well as local-level migrant policies, experiences and integration, and uncover what has long been a rural dimension to Muslim integration in Britain.
This book uses a study of a north Essex village to make a contribution to our knowledge of England between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. Earls Colne has been well known to historians as the parish of the seventeenth-century clerical diarist, Ralph Josselin, and was the subject of an extended research project by Alan Macfarlane in the early 1970s, which informed his study of English Individualism. Now, it is considered in the round with some surprising results. The authors test the theoretical perspectives of both Macfarlane and Robert Brenner, and reach new conclusions about the character of English rural society and the role that land played in it. The book asks fundamental questions about the ownership of land in early modern England and introduces a new methodology to examine these questions. In addition, it is also a study of a village with a resident gentry family — the Harlakendens — showing that the attempts by these new lords to re-mould the village after 1580 alienated many, leading to a series of well-documented power struggles. Ultimately, the book demonstrates that the Harlakendens failed to stamp their mark on the community, and their authority slowly ebbed away. In their place emerged an alternative power system dominated by copyholders and tenant farmers, who provide a rich gallery of village characters.
Civilising Rural Ireland examines how modern Ireland emerged out of the social and economic transformation prompted by the rural co-operative movement. The movement emerged in response to systemic economic problems that arose throughout the nineteenth century and coincided with a wide-ranging project of cultural nationalism. Within a short space of time the co-operative movement established a swathe of creameries, agricultural societies and credit societies, leading to a radical reorganisation of rural Ireland and helping to create a distinctive Irish political economy. The work of overlooked co-operative experts is critically examined for the first time and reinserted into the process of state development. The interventions of these organisers, intellectuals and farmers built up key institutions that shaped everyday life across rural communities. The movement weathered war and revolution, to become an indispensable part of an Irish state infrastructure after independence in 1922. The strained relationship and economic rivalry that developed between Irish and British co-operators is also explored in order to illuminate the changing relationship between Ireland and the United Kingdom from an economic perspective. Civilising Rural Ireland will appeal to a wide audience interested in modern Irish history and readers are introduced to an eclectic range of personalities who shared an interest in co-operation and whose actions possessed important consequences for the way Ireland developed. The creative use of local and national sources, many of which are examined for the first time, mean the book offers a new perspective on an important period in the making of modern Ireland.
Rural Britain, and England in particular, have long been perceived and portrayed as peaceful, picturesque, pure, romantic, safe and unchanging, as embodying national values and identity and a strong sense of community spirit, as a beacon of social cohesion and harmony, and as not being troubled by ‘urban problems’. 1 Indeed, often conjuring up, and being associated with, terms and phrases such as ‘an icon of Englishness’, 2 ‘the rural idyll’, 3 and ‘Green and Pleasant Land’, 4 the English rural landscape has frequently been imagined as needing to be
The character of rural change
In the years covered by this book, the English population grew from 2.5
million to 5.1 million. Of those people, about one in twenty lived in
towns in the middle of sixteenth century; by 1750 the proportion had
increased to about one in nine.1 Although London was undeniably a
great eighteenth-century European city, and a dozen or more English
towns were significant urban centres in the European perspective,
England remained predominantly rural. The majority of its people lived
in the countryside, whether in villages or small
Film and the repossession of rural space:
interview with Patrick Keiller
Robinson in Ruins features a lot of shots of rural areas around the Cherwell Valley.
Many people who have seen your other work, and are familiar with your background in architecture, will perhaps be more aware of your representations of
urban areas (London in particular, of course). Shooting in rural Oxfordshire, did
you find that setting up shots of these landscapes required you to adopt different
approaches (to the framing of the shots, for example)?
Folk horror and the contemporary cult
of British rural landscape: the case of
Blood on Satan’s Claw
It’s in the trees! It’s coming!
The Night of the Demon (1957); ‘Hounds of Love’, Kate Bush (1985)
British rural landscapes have long operated as imaginative spaces in which horrific,
ghostly or uncanny narratives unfold. One need think no further than the Gothic
tradition in literature –for example, representations of dark, menacing rural landscapes feature from Horace Walpole’s novel The Castle of Otranto (1763) through