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By Jean-Louis Durand-Drouhin

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Interpretation of the evidence requires attention to perspective and to important differences in the "structures of feeling" recognisable in different literary forms. Williams dispels the myth derived from George Sturt's Change in the Village (1911), that the end of the organic rural community in Britain is of fairly recent occurrence; he traces the literary incidence of climacteric change in rural life through Hardy, Eliot, Goldsmith and Thomas More etc. to Langland's Middle Ages. Most of the book is concerned with the Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries though there are occasional references to contemporary literary evidence.

The results show the inadequacy of the village for work, shopping and recreation and a marked dissatisfaction with village life by those from urban backgrounds. Concludes with proposals for future village development. , Life in a Welsh Countryside, Cardiff, University of Wales Press, 188 p. , Social Provision in Rural Wiltshire, London Methuen, 204 p. The spatial distribution of commercial and professional services, public utilities and social organisations is described for Wiltshire, a county relatively unaffected by nineteenth century industrialisation and urbanisation.

A simple, unweighted index of social provision, based on one point for each item present on a 36-point scale, is used to grade settlements into six categories from regional centre (absent) to small village centres in a hierarchical order. This regional approach is complemented by a final study of one village (Great Bedwyn) and its service territory. A broad pattern emerges of service centres of varying size, importance and function, spaced at significant distances from each other. Population size is not the sole determinant of village status; communications with the local territory may be equally important.

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