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Eric Oppen ravenclaweric at gmail.com
Tue Aug 27 18:46:04 BST 2019


The Regency was the last period before the nasty old Industrial Revolution
came in.  That said, you could find some very old-fashioned places in the
English countryside as recently as the eve of WWI.

I was reading a book about the Victorian underworld and its outskirts, and
in the chapter about people with itinerant professions, there was an
excerpt from the memoirs of a traveling showman about how some old-timey
countryfolk were spooked by the things their trained animals were doing,
and were muttering "It's witch work, I tell 'ee!"

On Tue, Aug 27, 2019 at 11:05 AM John Lennard <john.c.lennard at gmail.com>
wrote:

> Eric (I think) : The Shire is the English countryside around Regency times,
> as Tolkien
> thought it should have been.  No aristocrats, no submerged lower class
> living on sufferance on rented property, no nasty old industry.
>
> John: Um ... right reasons, but why Regency? 1890s, surely, when Tolkien
> was growing up in Sarehole, then still a village quite detached from
> Birmingham, with a working watermill, but destroyed before he left King
> Edward's School by, mostly, the suburban commuter railway, and latterly
> what Churchill called the "infernal combustion engine", violently
> downsizing the enormous equine economy. That's what T. was on about in the
> foreword to the 2/e when, after lamenting the death of friends by 1918, he
> says the country he grew up in was under assault before he was 10.
>
> Shippey reckoned Hobbiton in *The Hobbit* as a Cotswold village c.1890s,
> and I can't see any good reason to push the date much if any further back.
>
> --
> John Lennard, MA DPhil. (Oxon.), MA (WU)
>
> Associate Member & Director of Studies in English, Hughes Hall, Cambridge
> General editor, Humanities-E-Books Genre Fiction Sightlines and Monographs
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>
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>
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>
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