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Rural Modernity in BritainA Critical Intervention$
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Kristin Bluemel and Michael McCluskey

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474420952

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474420952.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 30 June 2022

Electricity Comes to the Countryside: Visual Representations of a Connected Countryside in the Early Twentieth Century

Electricity Comes to the Countryside: Visual Representations of a Connected Countryside in the Early Twentieth Century

Chapter:
(p.50) Chapter 3 Electricity Comes to the Countryside: Visual Representations of a Connected Countryside in the Early Twentieth Century
Source:
Rural Modernity in Britain
Author(s):

Rosemary Shirley

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474420952.003.0004

In this chapter, Rosemary Shirley analyses an extensive range of visual propaganda, diagrams and informational drawings from the British Electrical Development Agency (BEDA) published during the interwar years, advancing a reading of the English countryside as a place of networked inter-connection, rather than the more usual characterisation of remoteness and isolation. Materials focussing on rural electrificiation are particularly instructive for studies of rural modernity because they are relatively rare examples of material designed to communicate ideas about the countryside and modernity to the people who lived and worked in rural places. Through analysis of BEDA’s facinating contribution to the visual cultures of rural modernity, this chapter aims to complicate received ideas of the rural as a victim of modernity, building instead an understanding of the English countryside and its inhabitants as active agents in processes which continue to shape our understanding of what it means to be rural.

Keywords:   Visual cultures, British Electrical Development Agency (BEDA), English countryside, Networks, Rural electrification, Rural propaganda

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