chapter  16
12 Pages

Rural Reading, Radio and Television

Richard Jefferies, writing of country literature in 1884, says that in his day 'cottagers . . . read every scrap of printed paper which drifts across their way . . . The town newspapers in which the grocer at the market town wraps up their weekly purchases, stained with tallow or treacle are not burned heedlessly. Some paragraph, some fragment of curious information is gathered from the pieces . . . All information in our day filters through the newspaper . . . London newspapers come now to the village and hamlet in all sorts of ways. Some by post, others by milk cart, by carrier and by traveller; for country people travel now (in 1884), and invariably bring back papers bought at the railway bookstalls. After these have been read by the farmers and upper sort of people, the fragments get out through innumerable channels to the cottagers'.1