Hodge and his Masters
Richard Jefferies (1848–87) remains one of the most thoughtful and most lyrical writers on the English countryside. He had aspirations to make a living as a novelist, but it was his short, factually based articles for The Live Stock Journal and other magazines, drawn from a wealth of knowledge of the rural community into which he had been born, which, when brought together in book form, brought him recognition (though not wealth), and which continued to be read and admired after his early death. This two-volume work, first published in 1880, contains a collection of essays first published in The Standard. Jefferies describes the daily life and circumstances of Victorian English farmers, labourers and their wives without sentimentality, illustrating daily hardships as well as idyllic pastimes, and providing an accurate and thus valuable description of a now vanished way of life.
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