Chapter

The British countryside: nostalgia, romanticism and intervention

Madhu Satsangi, Nick Gallent and Mark Bevan

in The rural housing question

Published by Policy Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9781847423856
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303985 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847423856.003.0002
The British countryside: nostalgia, romanticism and intervention

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Popular conceptions of rurality are not accidental, nor are they natural representations of fact. Rather they are transforming social constructs, based on received remembrance of a past, and on antipathy to the dual opposite of the urban set against idealisations of the rural. The media through literature, film, painting, radio, and newspapers have enforced and transmitted these idealisations. Rural spaces and places have also permeated to images and coffee table books which showed myriads of woodland villages and romanticised Shakespearean countryside. These images served as picture-perfect illustrations of rural idyll on a pantomime state than reality. Such constructs of the rural spaces are powerful because they shape views on what countryside is actually like and what it should be like. This chapter discusses the British countryside. It explores how different actors have shaped, and are empowered, and constrained by the rural idylls.

Keywords: rurality; media; social construct; rural idylls; British countryside; Shakespeare

Chapter.  3727 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Urban and Rural Studies

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