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The Archers in Fact and Fiction

Academic Analyses of Life in Rural Borsetshire

Cara Courage, Nicola Headlam and Peter Matthews

If you have ever wondered about the ethical implications of Dr Richard Locke’s affair with Shula Hebden Lloyd, or whether the ergonomic design of tractor seats could have prevented Tony Archer from getting a bad back, then this book is for you. Leading academics from across the United Kingdom use storylines from BBC Radio 4’s The Archers to examine life in rural Borsetshire, bringing their academic research to new audiences. Is Lynda Snell a middleclass warrior? Can Rob Titchener be compared to Iago? The irreverent but thought-provoking contributions
will have you laughing and thinking.
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The Medieval World of The Archers, William Morris and the Problem with Class Struggle (Philippa Byrne)


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The Medieval World of The Archers, William Morris and the Problem with Class Struggle

Social relations in Ambridge are best understood if we consider it as a model medieval village – the kind of medieval village imagined by the Victorian author William Morris (1834–96). The most important conflicts in Ambridge in recent years have been the confrontation between ‘modernity’ and ‘tradition’, between those who defend the dignity of labour and those who value technology above all else. This chapter first explains the concept of ‘anti-utilitarian medievalism’ (Fradenberg 1997), and then considers how it applies to events in Ambridge. This paradigm allows us to appreciate how issues as diverse as Fallon and Emma’s Ambridge Tea Room, the evil of Rob Titchener, and Route B are linked together as part of a wider ‘medieval’ narrative.


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