Rural Britain Then & Now offers a fascinating and immensely readable overview of the British countryside, illustrated by both vintage and current photography. Sir Simon Jenkins’ robust foreword reminds us of the economic vicissitudes and competing interests which still threaten the British countryside while Roger Hunt’s informative and sympathetic text encourages us to care.
Rural Britain: Then & Now celebrates all aspects of Britain’s rural life, past and present, drawing on the remarkable resource of the Francis Frith Collection, a photographic archive of Britain, providing a continuous record of change from Victorian times to the 1960s.
In 1860, Francis Frith began to take photographs of popular tourist destinations around Britain, so holidaymakers could take home souvenirs of their visit. Over the next 50 years he and his team of photographers took thousands of photographs – windmills to castles, village frolics to carts, nothing was missed by the camera, and the resulting archive is not only a record of a century of social change, but a vivid and informative glimpse into Britain’s past.