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Travelling on horseback through southern England in the early 19th century, William Cobbett provides evocative and accurate descriptions of the countryside, colourful accounts of his encounters with labourers, and indignant outbursts at the encroaching cities and the sufferings of the exploited poor. Ian Dyck's new edition places these lively accounts of rural life in the context of Cobbett's political and social beliefs and reveals the volume as his platform for rural radical reform.
William Cobbett (1763-1835) spent his youth as a farm worker and gardener. He lived in revolutionary France and Philadelphia where, as 'Peter Porcupine', he rose to fame as a pro-British and anti-Jacobin journalist. Later, back in England, he became a Radical and promoted the cause of reform in politics and agriculture. Ian Dyck is Associate Professor of History at Simon Fraser University, British Columbia. He is the author of 'William Cobbett and Rural Popular Culture' (CUP, 1992).