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Rural Englands is the first general history of nineteenth-century English rural workers. Barry Reay provides a fresh perspective on England's rural past, reintroducing those often excluded from more traditional historical approaches, and stressing the diversity of working communities and the dynamism of rural life. Reay challenges stereotypes of country living, arguing that the extent of localization is so compelling that, instead of thinking of a unitary notion of 'rural England', we must think in terms of 'rural Englands'. Incorporating a wide range of source material, Reay examines and explores both representations and experiences of rural labour, including: - varieties of settlement and landscape - types of work carried out by men, women and children - household survival strategies - experiences of life and death - leisure patterns - repertoires of protest - visual imagery - literary representations.