The country and town have always been at variance with each other, in terms of class, religion, education and political persuasion. Each side assumes superiority over the other. In general, country folk are more conservative, more contented, lead a more healthy lifestyle but are suspicious of "outsiders". Generally, too, there is more vice and crime in the city but that is tempered by increased wealth and opportunity. However, the contrast between the rich and poor in both city and country is great.
Most 18th, 19th, and early 20th century writers of the West Midlands were either country-born or chose to live in the country. This resulted in the countryside being portrayed in a very positive light, although the benefits of the town and city were not neglected.
Some themes illustrate the prejudices, aspirations, advantages and disadvantages of town and country life. These, and other themes are explored more fully on a further page.
There are pages on this website devoted to the following writers mentioned above:
The essays entitled Fruits of the earth and Roots appear in The Spring of joy (1917) by Mary Webb.
Page created 28 November 2002 and last
updated 24 January 2003
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