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June 13 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
  • In Conversation
  • Non-fiction

Rural

Rebecca Smith
Photo of Rebecca Smith credit Lina Hayes. Image of Rural book cover

Venue:

Chelmsford Cathedral, New Street
Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1TY United Kingdom
Tickets:
£10
£8 concessions (Students, Under 27s and Unwaged)
Book

Rebecca Smith, Rural

In this beautifully observed book, Rebecca Smith paints a picture of the working class lives that often go overlooked. Living in rural areas means being surrounded by natural beauty, but for many it also demands hard work, precarity, fewer opportunities and – increasingly – being pushed out of the place your family might have called home for generations.

In conversation with Festival Director, Ros Green, (who grew up in Charsfield in East Suffolk in 1960s and 1970s: the inspiration for Ronald Blythes’s Penguin Classic Akenfield: Portrait of an English Village) they will discuss the relations between nature and human nature, the land, education, class and welfare.

This event will include an audience Q&A. After the event there will be an opportunity to get your book signed by the author.

 

Thursday 13 June, 1.00pm

Venue: Chelmsford Cathedral, New Street, Chelmsford, CM1 1TY
Tickets: £10 / £8 concessions (Students, Under 27s and Unwaged)
Box Office: Box Office: essexbookfestival.org.uk or Mercury Theatre 01206 573948

 


 

Rural: The Lives of the Working Class Countryside by Rebecca Smith

Published 6 June 2024 (William Collins)

Image of Rural book cover

Order a copy of Rural at bookshop.org

Work in the countryside ties you, soul and salary, to the land, but often those who labour in nature have the least control over what happens there…

In this beautifully observed book, Rebecca Smith traces the stories of foresters and millworkers, miners, builders, farmers and pub owners, to paint a picture of the working class lives that often go overlooked.

Living in rural areas means being surrounded by natural beauty, but for many it also demands hard work, precarity, fewer opportunities and – increasingly – being pushed out of the place your family might have called home for generations.

In Rural, Rebecca Smith brings together the reasons we all love nature with the histories of life in its midst, and a prescient look at the dynamics for rural areas today. Why are our farmers struggling to make a profit on a pint of milk? What has Airbnb done to small communities in places like the Lake District?

In a gorgeous tour of Scotland, England and Wales, this is a book for anyone who loves and longs for the countryside, whose family owes something to a bygone trade, or who is interested in the future of rural Britain.

 

About the Author

Rebecca Smith worked for BBC Radio for over a decade, producing live and pre-recorded programmes and researching titles for BBC Radio 4’s Book of the Week and The Fiction Serial. In 2021, she was shortlisted for the Scottish Book Trust’s Ignite Fellowship. She currently writes for various publications and reviews for BBC Radio Scotland’s The Afternoon Show.

 

Photo of Rebecca Smith credit Lina Hayes

Photo of Rebecca Smith © Lina Hayes

 

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Venue

Chelmsford Cathedral
New Street
Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1TY United Kingdom
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