First Line: Britain was born out of the countryside; from hills and fields, streams and mountains, moors and downs, fens and forests: places where nature's architecture and man's industry have, over millennia, combined.
1859 marked the beginning of Francis Frith & Co.-- the world's first specialist photographic publisher. In 1860 Frith embarked on a monumental project: to photograph every town and village in the United Kingdom. Today anyone with an interest in British history and photography is in for a treat when they visit the Francis Frith website... where it's almost impossible not to make a purchase.
When I saw that this book was available, I had to snap up a copy because, to me, the best part of Britain is its countryside-- its fields and villages-- and page by page, photograph by photograph, I was led on a marvelous journey throughout rural England.
The before and after photos are wonderful, but there is a lot to be learned from the text as well. The origin of pubs, popular sports, how the farmers and villagers lived together, worked together, and played together.
This book is such a rich source of material that I know I'll be referring to it again and again. If you have the slightest interest in British history or historical photography, you'll get a lot of enjoyment from Rural Britain Then & Now, too.