I received and advanced review copy of this title from the New York Review of Books. My Review: This book is a history of the British village of. Woven from the words of the inhabitants of a small Suffolk village in the s, Akenfield is a masterpiece of twentieth-century English literature. Akenfield is a film made by Peter Hall in , based loosely upon the book Akenfield: Portrait of an English Village by Ronald Blythe (). It can claim a.

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There is so much of value in this book – all the answers you can possibly want for where we went wrong as a society seen through the eyes of the folk who lived through the changes – the ones who appreciated some of them and the ones who didn’t and the ones who were perceptive enough to see them for what they were, good and bad, and how they came about in the aftermath of 2 world wars. One 14 year old, repeatedly raped by her uncle, is described as experiencing something “probably no worse than eating off a dirty plate.

The music was intended to be written by Benjamin Brittenhimself a Suffolk man, but he suffered a heart attack and was unable to work. Post was not sent – check your email addresses! I now live in Suffolk and found this a really fascinating and charming historical description of live in the late ‘s. If you have any interest in British history, oral history or social history then this latest edition to the New York Review of Books classic titles is a must read.

Have the same qualities saved and invigorated other villages elsewhere? Gethyn Owen, is sixty-three when Blythe talks with him. Suffolk amazed me — the great trees, the towering old buildings soaring out of the corn.


As the years go by, all anthropology turns into social history, as the world changes and leaves memories of what used to be. I had no idea before reading this history that there is such a fine art form to the ringing of church bells.

They don’t want our kind of talk. I get tired, but I will be all aakenfield, I suppose. The folk of Akenfield circa had a basic understanding of the necessities required for a community to survive.

Akenfield: Portrait of an English Village

As a piece of oral history, it set new villlage of authority and popularity; as a picture of rural life in turmoil, it had exceptional social interest; and as a witness to “ordinary lives”, it had unforgettable pathos.

A surprisingly interesting book, Akenfeld is a oral history of a small English agricultural village. A holy place, when you have spent half your life abroad in the services.

I imagined myself dying inside and so I came to this village to find my health. The strength that comes from hearing people’s voices as they lived it is invaluable to our learning of akefield past. Suffolk England — Social life and customs. I have no idea how interesting this book would be to readers in Britain, but to a reader in villge US like me, who is fascinated by the way things once were, Akenfield is a precious glimpse back at the life my English ancestors might have lived.

From rag rugs to beetle banks

On its surface, this section focuses on those of that generation who against the odds returned after World War I. Please re-enter recipient e-mail address es.

Weirdly original, and occasionally uncomfortable, social commentary – undefensive, and nonjudgmental of its characters, even when you might think a little judgment is warranted. The darkness of unlit amenfield, the clear stars, the wildlife Ronald Blythe’s book of Akenfield is a gritty work of hard scholarship, rooted in detailed statistical data, presenting a very realistic grounded understanding of the economic and social life of a village.


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Thanks so much for the compliment. Resonates as much as Stud Terkels. Akenfield the film is engglish work of fiction, based on an page story synopsis by Blythe. The threads of memories that stretched back to the First World War gave a rea I now live in Suffolk and found this a really fascinating and charming historical description of live in the late ‘s.

I was at the top of the field whole and then at the bottom of the field, broken, and all in minutes. They were hardy old sorts. It became required reading in American and Canadian high schools and universities.

Blythe interviewed 49 different people from all types of social backgrounds and occupations and recorded their words for this social history. There are all these great boys in the house–they keep you lively.

Akenfield: Portrait of an English Village by Ronald Blythe

englush I had no idea before reading this history that there is such a fine art form to the ringing of church bells. Read one or two a time, then savour.

WorldCat is the world’s largest library catalog, helping you find library materials online. Books by Ronald Blythe.

After Oxford, I worked in London, where I wrote a poetry of despair.