Rural Rides (unabridged)

Audio Sample

William Cobbett

Rural Rides

Read by Peter Wickham


Between 1821 and 1826, the prolific writer and journalist William Cobbett travelled the countryside of the South of England on foot and horseback. Rural Rides is a fascinating account of his journeys, and depicts a way of life in transition, juxtaposing lyrical descriptions of the countryside with criticism of the poverty of agricultural workers. A man of radical politics who encouraged the rural rising of 1830, Cobbett went on to become MP for Oldham and sought to represent the interests of both industrial and agricultural workers. Above all, Rural Rides celebrates agrarian England.

The Times – Audiobook of the Week
  • Running Time: 22 h 22 m

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    Digital ISBN:978-1-78198-413-0
    Cat. no.:NA0549
    Edited by:Andrew Young, Viva Voce Audio
    Released:August 22
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Audiobook of the Week

Forget the predictable moanings of modern commentators. Listen instead to those of a bygone age with the latest release from Naxos AudioBooks, whose high quality recordings of classic literature put them among the best audio publishers. William Cobbett (1763–1835) was an outspoken radical journalist who rode for hundreds of miles around southern England to experience first-hand the plight of the common man and deliver ‘harangues’ (a favourite word) to the crowds who gathered to hear him ranting about the iniquities of rotten boroughs, enclosures, neglectful landlords and ‘tax-eaters’ (as he called overpaid civil servants).

High on his horse so he could see far further than we do in our cars, Cobbett had a knowing eye for the lie of the land, its geology and agricultural potential. He wrote about his travels and tirades with punch and panache, recalling his youth and never at a loss for a sharp observation. Peter Wickham conveys all his vigour, explaining why he was such a thorn in the side of England’s rulers.

Christina Hardyment, The Times

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