Aspects of ordinary life in Stratford-upon-Avon, 1775-1915
Val HortonA great deal is known about Stratford-on-Avon’s remarkable Elizabethan history but very little of its more recent past. Beginning in 1775 with an Act of Inclosure through to 1914 and the First World War, this book attempts to redress that imbalance. It is a concise and compelling read, presenting the reader with a rare glimpse of local life during the 140 years concerned. Being a period of remarkable change, it brought great improvement to the town, but there was often a price to be paid. Education, healthcare, suffrage, slavery and housing are just a few of the areas explored. Within its chapters, local dignitaries, benevolent families, unfortunate paupers and brave men and women all have a voice. When George Cope encountered Constable Keeley during the 1832 elections, and feelings were running high, he wanted to ‘split his skull open’. Later, in 1912, Albert Danks was told by a local district judge he had ‘done a foolish thing’ in accepting a stolen duck, and let off. With such well-chosen words, many gleaned from archived copies of the local paper, the reader is presented with an intriguing insight into life in this famous small town.