Event 40 | James Rebanks | An Audience With James Rebanks


James Rebanks – An English Pastoral

James Rebanks is the Winner of this year’s Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing for his Masterpiece: ENGLISH PASTORAL: An Inheritance

“James Rebanks’s story of his family’s farm is just about perfect.  It belongs with the finest writing of its kind.” Wendell Berry

A very personal book, ENGLISH PASTORAL is the story of an inheritance: one that affects us all. It tells of how rural landscapes around the world were brought close to collapse, and the age-old rhythms of work, weather, community and wild things were lost. Yet this elegy from the northern fells of Cumbria is also a song of hope; of how, guided by the past, one farmer began to salvage his tiny corner of England. JAMES REBANKS is doing his best to restore the life that had vanished, to leave a legacy for the future for our green and pleasant land.

James’s book is about what it means to have love and pride in a place, and how, against all the odds, it may still be possible to build a new pastoral: not a utopia, but somewhere decent for us all.

In conversation with Elizabeth Wainwright

When: Saturday 13th November 2021 @ 7.30pm
Where: Electric Palace


James Rebanks family have farmed in the Lake District for over 600 years. His best selling autobiography, The Shepherd’s Life, won endless plaudits when it was published in 2015.

Having left school at 16 with undistinguished school results to work on his family farm, he became an avid reader. Encouraged by his wife, Helen, he went to evening classes in Carlisle, gaining A’ levels before studying at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he achieved a double first in history. After the world of academia, James had no difficulty in returning to farming and specialises in Herdwick sheep. Moving towards a more mixed farm, he has added a herd of Belted Galloways.

James was involved in the Bid for the Lake District to receive World Heritage status which was approved in 2017 and in 2018 he resigned from a government panel set up by Michael Gove after the composition of the panel was criticised by environmentalists as being biased towards the farming community.

Without doubt, Rebanks is an heroic ombudsman for the farming community.

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