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No Matter How Many Skies Have Fallen by Ken Warpole


In 1943 a group of pacifists took possession of a vacant farm in Frating, a hamlet on the Essex Tendring Peninsula. There they established a working community, inspired by their association with The Adelphi journal, where D.H.Lawrence, Vera Brittain, Iris Murdoch, George Orwell and others shared ideas for the future with European religious radicals such as Nikolai Berdyaev and Simone Weil. Frating Hall Farm provided a settlement and livelihood for individuals and families and a temporary sanctuary for refugees and prisoners-of-war. Over time it became a successful arable and livestock farm and a centre for the arts, winning the grudging respect of their neighbours. This is the lost story of Frating Hall Farm, based on the memories of those who grew up on the farm, together with photographs, letters and records –  a kaleidoscopic history and an enquiry into the religious and political ideals of the back-to-the-land movement in post-war rural England.

Ken Worpole is a writer and social historian, and the author of many books on architecture, aesthetics, landscape and public policy. He was once described by The Independent as ‘one of the shrewdest and sharpest observers of the English social landscape.’ A founder member of think-tanks Demos and OpenDemocracy, in recent years he has focused on post-industrial landscapes, settlements and communities, together with questions of ‘Englishness’ and regional identity.

167 pages

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