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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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Windmills and Woodblocks: Agnes Miller Parker, Wood Engraving and the Popular Press in Interwar Britain

Windmills and Woodblocks: Agnes Miller Parker, Wood Engraving and the Popular Press in Interwar Britain

Chapter:
(p.84) Chapter 5 Windmills and Woodblocks: Agnes Miller Parker, Wood Engraving and the Popular Press in Interwar Britain
Source:
Rural Modernity in Britain
Author(s):

Kristin Bluemel

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474420952.003.0006

Using artist and wood engraver Agnes Miller Parker’s career as a case study, Kristin Bluemel argues that the so-called wood engraving revival reached its symbolic consolidation as an elite practice for the masses only upon the successful integration of Miller Parker’s wood engravings in the 1930s nature books of Victor Gollancz. Miller Parker’s illustrated editions of H. E. Bates’s Through the Woods (1936) and Down the River (1937) confirmed in the public imagination associations of the black and white forms of wood engraving with rustic landscapes and natural subjects even as it was seen to ‘elevate’ into art the mass marketed Gollancz books in which these wood engravings appeared. This chapter shows how circulations between antique ‘craft’, modern reproductive print technologies, and rural subjects placed Parker and her art at the centre of the drama of modernity even as she tried to conduct a quiet life on Britain’s rural peripheries.

Keywords:   Wood engraving revival, Agnes Miller Parker, Victor Gollancz, H. E. Bates, Natural history, Rural craft, Print technologies, Women artists

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