A Good Read...
PUBLISHED: 15:25 26 April 2012 | UPDATED: 21:18 20 February 2013
A round-up of books with strong local interest.
Britains First Photo Album
Published by The Francis Frith Collection, 20
Brought out to accompany the BBC TV series of the same name, follow John Sergeant as he takes a journey through history in the footsteps of 1860s photographer Francis Frith.
Prospering Society: Wiltshire in the later Middle Ages
By John Hare. Published by University of Hertfordshire Press, 18.99
This book looks at the changing nature of English society through a case study of countryside and town during the period 1380-1520. It explores the influence of landscape and population on the agriculture of Wiltshire, the regional patterns of arable and pastoral farming, and the growing contrast between the large-scale mixed farming of the chalklands and the family farms of the claylands. It was during this period that Wiltshire became one of the great cloth-producing counties and Salisbury one of the greatest cities in the kingdom. A must-read for thelocal historian.
Imagined Lives: Portraits of Unknown People
Published by National Portrait Gallery, 7.99
There are over 170,000 portraits in the NPG, and sometimes, after new research or when documents come to light, it is revealed that some of the sitters in the portraits are not who they were thought to be. As a result, these portraits usually cannot be displayed at the Gallery, but instead the idea of asking high-profile writers, amongst them Wiltshire authors Sir Terry Pratchett and Sarah Singleton, to imagine the lives of some of the sitters in these unknown portraits and to create new identities for them was born an intriguing book. The 14 subjects of the book are on exhibition until 1 July in Room 33.
Bath Stone Quarries
By Derek Hawkins. Published by Folly Books, 24.99
The term Bath stone applies to stone extracted in Bath and north-west Wiltshirefrom quarries that include those along the Avon Valley Kingsdown, Longsplatt,Monkton Farleigh, Murhill, Limpley Stoke and Bradford on Avon, as well as thosearound Box and Corsham. During the 19th century, the stone was exported allaround the worldand the undergroundworkings developedon an enormous scale.However, by the early20th century all but afew of the quarries wereabandoned. Many stillsurvive in secret splendourinaccessible to all butthe serious explorer,and this beautifullyillustrated book revealsthe thousands ofacres of undergroundworkings using archiveand contemporaryphotographs.