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The Town and the Country Through Time

April 18, 2021 at 7:00 pm BST

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In this first salon of a three part series Henry Dashwood invites you to explore the similarities, differences, and relationships between rural and urban life. 

At length the townsman cries: “I wonder how

You can live here, friend, on this hill’s rough brow:

Take my advice, and leave these ups and downs,

This hill and dale, for humankind and towns.

Then says the rustic: “It may do for you,

This life, but I don’t like it; so adieu:

Give me my hole, secure from all alarms,

I’ll prove that tares and vetches still have charms.

In the first salon of the series we will look at the relationship between cities and the countryside throughout history. Is it fair to talk of virtuous rural idiocy vs urban vice and sophistication? Have different cultures around the world and through history drawn different dichotomies? How do polities balance the interests and world-views of the two groups?

The suggested readings are definitely not required. Not all will interest you so feel free to skip or replace them. These salons are about large ill defined themes and their meaning will vary depending on your background or from where you are in the world. So feel free to come along to discuss them from your point of view. If you have a different perspective I hope you will come and share that with us!

Reading List:

  • The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse – Aesop
  • Satire III – Juvenel
  • The Country and the City – Raymond Williams (Review)
  • Virgil – Eclogues and Georgics
  • Moll Flanders – Daniel Defoe
  • Hogarth – Rake’s Progress
  • John Clair https://unherd.com/2020/01/john-clare-poet-of-the-somewheres/
  • Hillbilly Elegy – J.D. Vance


April 18, 2021
7:00 pm BST
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