A Journey Through Britain’s Village Utopias
From Scotland's New Lanark mills to the Arts and Crafts Cottages of Port Sunlight, a history of one of the most fascinating experiments of Victorian philanthropy - the 'model' village.
Twenty years ago, Jacqueline Yallop was leading guided walks at Nenthead, one of a network of ‘model’ villages which sprang up across Britain during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. A life-long fascination was born.
From Scotland’s New Lanark Mills to the Arts and Crafts cottages of Port Sunlight, Yallop visits these utopian experiments to explore their rich histories. Looking at everything from sewage systems to sculpture, chocolate to coal, and free trade to electoral emancipation, this book is a personal exploration of why and how these village utopias came about, what they tell us about the past, and how they still resonate with us today.
“This is a fascinating book, a glimpse through the keyhole of homes that turn out to be stages set for a performance.”
Lucy Lethbridge, Financial Times
“Intriguing... The descriptions of place, surface and mood are sharp and tangible”
“A fascinating study of how human life is moulded and shaped by big money. It is…sobering.”
Charlie Gilmour, Independent On Sunday
“Provides valuable food for thought.”
Gillian Tindall, Literary Review
“A fascinating, fact-rich, and beautifully written book.”
Jonathan Wright, Catholic Herald
“Strong on description”
Leigh Hatts, Church Times
“An interesting book… Eloquent and well researched… Her visits to the villages are richly descriptive and full of warmth.”
Paul Cheney, Nudge