Laurie Lee’s best-known book captures a period in time when the rural England he knew was changing beyond recognition. He wrote in Cider with Rosie: “I belonged to that generation which saw, by chance, the end of a thousand years’ life. The change came late to our Cotswold valley, didn’t really show itself till the late 1920s; I was twelve by then, but during that handful of years I witnessed the whole thing happen.” In our time, 55 years after the first publication of that book, we feel that the gigantic upheaval he witnessed is about to be followed by another. It is a defining moment.

According ...


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