The Country and the City

Front Cover
Random House, Dec 31, 2013 - Literary Criticism - 512 pages

Taking inspiration from classic authors from Jane Austen to Thomas Hardy, Williams shines a light on our society’s changing views of the rural and industrial landscapes in which we work and live.

Our collective notion of the city and country is irresistibly powerful. The city as the seat of enlightenment, sophistication, power and greed is in profound contrast with an innocent, peaceful, backward countryside. Examining literature since the sixteenth century, Williams traces the development of our conceptions of these two traditional poles of life. His groundbreaking study casts the country and city as central symbols for the social and economic changes associated with capitalist development.

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY TRISTRAM HUNT

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User Review  - stillatim - LibraryThing

A great mix of literary criticism - his readings of G. Eliot and Dickens are particularly impressive - history and political agitation. Williams starts with a discussion of the pastoral mode, which is ... Read full review

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User Review  - Chris - Goodreads

An exceptional history of power, society, money and aesthetics. Fascinating and engaging. Read full review

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About the author (2013)

Raymond Williams was born in 1921 in the Welsh border village of Pandy, and was educated at the village school, at Abergavenny Grammar School, and at Trinity College, Cambridge. After serving in the war as an anti-tank captain, he became an adult education tutor in the Oxford University Delegacy for Extra-Mural Studies. In 1947 he was an editor of Politics and Letters, and in the 1960s was general editor of the New Thinker’s Library. He was elected Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge, in 1961 and was later appointed Professor of Drama.

His books include Culture and Society (1958), The Long Revolution (1961) and its sequel Towards 2000 (1983); Communications (1962) and Television: Technology and Cultural Form (1974); Drama in Performance (1954), Modern Tragedy (1966) and Drama from Ibsen to Brecht (1968); The English Novel from Dickens to Lawrence (1970), Orwell (1971) and The Country and the City (1973); Politics and Letters (interviews) (1979) and Problems in Materialism and Culture (selected essays) (1980); and four novels – the Welsh trilogy of Border Country (1960), Second Generation (1964) and The Fight for Manod (1979), and The Volunteers (1978).

Raymond Williams was married in 1942, had three children, and divided his time between Saffron Walden, near Cambridge, and Wales. He died in 1988.

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