I received and advanced review copy of this title from the New York Review of Books. My Review: This book is a history of the British village of. Woven from the words of the inhabitants of a small Suffolk village in the s, Akenfield is a masterpiece of twentieth-century English literature. Akenfield is a film made by Peter Hall in , based loosely upon the book Akenfield: Portrait of an English Village by Ronald Blythe (). It can claim a.

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This is a wonderful snapshot of a moment in time in the village of Akenfield in Your rating has been recorded. I now live in Suffolk and found this a really fascinating and charming historical description of live in the late ‘s. The preliminaries to filming were particularly protracted, and Blythe had many reservations about the difficulties in making a film showing “three generations in terms of work, belief, education and climate.

From rag rugs to beetle banks

Francis is so talented that he is even sent to Germany to represent England at an international craft festival. Read one or two a time, then savour.

Blythe’s introductory descriptions of each villager, before the transcribed interviews, are an excellent lesson in character development. Villages — England — Suffolk. Return to Book Page. He is didactic and authoritative, stating strong opinions in a way which contrasts dramatically with Suffolk caution. The impact of EU demands and subsidies, the national catastrophe of foot and mouth, the continued drift of farmworkers to the cities and of city people to country homes they inhabit only at weekends, the growth of imports and labour from overseas – all these have deepened the crisis that Blythe mapped and lamented.


Akenfield, on the face of it, is the kind of place in which an Englishman has always felt his right and duty to live. It became required reading in American and Canadian high schools and universities. It’s 35 years since Ronald Blythe published Akenfield, his classic portrait of a Suffolk village, but the original impact of the book has never quite died away. Those memories encompass not just the old ways of being and doing, but the brutal conditions engendered by the great agricultural depression in the late nineteenth century.

I skip the groaners. He writes a long-running and considerably praised weekly column in the Church Times entitled Word from Wormingford.

As I was born inI would find it particularly interesting to read this! Like Liked by 1 person.

September 24, at Beautifully written and well worth taking out to read again in another 10 years time. Trevor Berrett January 25, at 1: We had to creep in early in the morning before breakfast and replace the great banks of flowers in the main rooms.

Please re-enter recipient e-mail address es. And poryrait is varied, especially, as he avers, due to the major events of the last fifty years: Although I do not like towns, I think they are necessary when one is young. Also an indirect history of how technology has completely transformed agrarian life into industrial farming – so many of the farmers had used the same tools and farming techniques for portralt, and only recently has it become unrecognizable from the past.

By Trevor Berrett T Please verify that you are not a robot.

Everyone kept the body at home for as long porttrait they could then; they didn’t care to part with it, you see. The 60s was also obviously the start of o farming and one of the farmers while quite happy to keep battery hens was regretful about the intensive farming of pigs as they were intelligent animals!


Linked Data More info about Linked Data. But when I began to enjoy it I stopped worrying. I am a guilty innocent, I suppose. A poet should be with the mass of mankind, they say; a poet should carry a banner. You are commenting using your WordPress. In seeing through his eyes, we also see through the eyes of his ancestors.

Ronald Blythe: Akenfield: Portrait of an English Village – The Mookse and the Gripes

From the voices of ordinary folk come truths we don’t often hear in our society of expert-speak. Some of the stories are more memorable than others. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam.

This was written in the 60s but still feels relevant, especially if you live in this area. Pigs are very interesting people and some of them can leave quite a gap when they go off to the bacon factory.

Post was not sent – check your email addresses! I hope you enjoy it! It appealed to me but I never bought it; the charity shop has since closed as well. Don’t have an account? If a man comes from Akenfield he knows that he is telling someone from another part of the neighbourhood a good deal more than this.