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‘Geogeoepiscopal rambles’: through rural Devon with Beatrix Cresswell

Tue. 18 June 2024 at 7:00 pm

Free – £2.50

‘Geogeoepiscopal rambles’: through rural Devon with Beatrix Cresswell, 1861-1940.

A Zoom talk presented by Jeremy Burchardt – Reading University

Jeremy is a rural historian based in the Department of History at Reading. His research interests focus on three intertwined themes: the affective significance of the countryside in modern Britain; perceptions and experiences of rural childhood; and leisure in the nineteenth- and twentieth-century countryside. Lifescapes, his book on the experience of rural landscape in England c.1870–1960 (CUP, 2023) explores the personal meanings of landscape in this period, emphasising how landscape helped many people make sense of their lives and of the changes in the world around them during this turbulent period.

Passionately devoted to her native county, Beatrix Cresswell was one of Devon’s most prolific and in some respects pioneering antiquarians and architectural historians. This talk will provide a brief account of her life, emphasizing her familiarity with every corner of the county and the vigour and determination with which she explored it. The daughter of an Anglican curate, she grew up in Teignmouth, moving in adulthood first to Dawlish and then Exeter. She wrote numerous guidebooks for Homeland Handbooks about tourist areas of Devon and other parts of the South West, but in her eyes this was subsidiary to her serious work – an extraordinarily ambitious, and successful, attempt to compile a record of the architecture and furnishings of every Anglican church in the county. In many respects she was a Pevsner before Pevsner. She also kept a long sequence of pithily-written diaries, which illuminate the depth of meaning she found on what she liked to call (borrowing an obscure phrase from Coleridge) her ‘geogeoepiscopal rambles’ through the county’s rural landscapes.

Please book with the organiser (details below) by a day before the event. You will be sent a link to access the Zoom session.

This talk is part of The Devonshire Association Monthly Lecture Series – a programme of talks on a wide range of topics presented by informed and respected speakers throughout the year using Zoom technology.

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Tue. 18 June 2024
7:00 pm
Free – £2.50
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Ian Varndell


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