Our Village

Our Village

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The little village of Three Mile Cross in Berkshire was Mary Russell Mitford's home for thirty years. She has drawn on her observations of the locality for many of her short essays, the best of which appear in this book, to give a unique picture of country life in the early years of the nineteenth century. Village events and festivals are described in vivid detail, as are the many colourful characters who peopled the small neighbourhood.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 132 x 190 x 22mm | 240.4g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford Paperbacks
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • line illustrations
  • 019281334X
  • 9780192813343

Review Text

For the nostalgic Anglophile - a reprinting, with reproductions of contemporary paintings and sketches, and original drawings and watercolors, of essays about country life, first published in England's The Ladies' Journal of the 1820's and 1830's. Mainly brief puffs of pleasure in the seasonal round of a small village, and gentle tidbits celebrating indigenous yeomen and lesser toilers at work, play, and romance, these are the cheerful accounts of rural living that all who didn't have to live it - from squire to straphanger - love to read. Mitford (b. 1787), a good journeyman writer forced to support her parents with her (undoubtedly underpaid) labors, first takes the reader on a tour of "shady lanes and sunny commons," and the dwellings and rambling roads of her village - "a little world of our own." Later there are walks of pleasure with child and dog to witness such natural events as the first primrose or to enjoy the glories of cowslip gathering, an excursion undertaken "when the spirits sink and fall. . .under the mere pressure of existence." There are also dips into society - at the races, haymaking, cricket matches, a Christmas party, etc. Here and there are village tales - the misanthrope who adopts the grandchild of a dying enemy; a girl with more sensibility than sense who loses a beau. A nicely bound, commercially pretty book, with those tributes to bygone bucolic ways and days by Constable, Stubbs, and lesser others complementing Mitford's straightforward prose and popular sentiments - an eye-catcher, likely to appeal for Christmas giving. (Kirkus Reviews)show more