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Author Event – Rebecca Smith – Rural

July 16 @ 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM BST

We’re excited to host author, Rebecca Smith, talking about her personal links and research into working class life.

Just published, Rural: The Lives of the Working Class Countryside by Rebecca Smith (William Collins, Published date: 8 June 2023) is an exploration that starts with Smith’s own family history – foresters in Cumbria, miners in Derbyshire, millworkers in Nottinghamshire, builders of reservoirs and the Manchester Ship Canal– to survey our green and pleasant land, and the people whose labour has shaped it.

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.

Beautifully observed, these are the stories of professions and communities that often go overlooked. Rebecca shows the precarity for those whose lives are entangled in the natural landscape. And she traces how these rural working-class worlds have changed. As industry has transformed – mines closing, country estates shrinking, farmers struggling to make profit on a pint of milk, holiday lets increasing so relentlessly that local people can no longer live where they were born – we are led to question the legacy of the countryside in all our lives.

Exploring the lives of farmers, foresters, miners, millworkers, builders Rural: The Lives of the Working Class Countryside is a book about the working class people who have shaped the countryside. Why are they being forced out of the places they call home? Why are their stories so often overlooked? What is the future of land in rural areas?

Rebecca Smith, is a writer, audio producer and reviewer. She joins us at Heptonstall Museum on Sunday 16 July at 2pm.

Photo: Lina Hays


Friends of Heptonstall Museum
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Heptonstall Museum
Church Yard Bottom
Heptonstall, HX7 7PL United Kingdom
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