The Lost Village

The Lost Village

In Search of a Forgotten Rural England


The idea of the village - unspoilt, unpretentious, unchanging and growing almost organically out of the landscape - is one of the most potent in the English imagination. Writers, artists and ordinary people have waxed lyrical on the theme for centuries, while today millions have left the cities in search of the rural idyll.

Yet the village is plainly dying. The unchanging rhythms of village life, as experienced with little variations by generations, have vanished. But not without trace ... they exist in living memory. In the voices of men and women for whom the old ways were life-shaping realities.

Richard Askwith, an award-winning writer and journalist, describes a journey in search of the quintessential English village, through dales and suburbs, down ancient lanes and estates. He captures the voices of poachers and gamekeepers, farmers and hunters, nurses and postmen, teachers and craftsmen, and demonstrates that, while the landscape more changed than we thought, the past is never so simple as we imagine.


  • A quest, both funny and sad, for the remnants of English country life
    Culture, The Sunday Times

About the author

Richard Askwith

Richard Askwith has been a journalist for over 40 years. He has written six previous books, including his modern classic on fell running, Feet in the Clouds, which won the Best New Writer category at the British Sports Book Awards and was shortlisted for the William Hill and Boardman Tasker prizes, and he is now one of the UK's most celebrated writers on running. Running Free was shortlisted for the Thwaites-Wainwright Prize, and his evocative biography of Emil Zátopek, Today We Die A Little, was shortlisted in the Cross Sports Book Awards. His most recent book, Unbreakable: the Countess, the Nazis and the World's Most Dangerous Horse Race, won Biography of the Year at the Telegraph Sports Book Awards in 2020.
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