Rural Rides

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William Cobbett (1763—1835) political writer and farmer

Political Register


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A collection of essays by W. Cobbett, published 1830. A committee in 1821 had proposed certain remedies for the agricultural distress that followed the war. Cobbett disapproved of these and ‘made up his mind to see for himself’. The result was this series of lively, opinionated accounts of his travels on horseback between Sept. 1822 and Oct. 1826, largely in the south and east of England. (Later journeys, in the Midlands and the north, were added in subsequent editions.) He rails against tax‐collectors, ‘tax‐eaters’, landlords, gamekeepers, stockjobbers, and excisemen, and against the monstrous swelling of the ‘Great Wen’ of London; but the whole work is also informed with his own knowledge of and love of the land in all its minutely observed variety.

Subjects: Literature.

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