Kenneth Allsop (29 January 1920 Yorkshire, England – 23 May 1973) was a British broadcaster, author and naturalist. He was a regular reporter on the BBC current affairs programme “Tonight” during the 1960’s. He also was Rector of Edinburgh University and won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. In 1958 he wrote what is widely seen as being the definitive account of 1950s British Literature, “The Angry Decade”, remarkable not only for its content but also for its closing remarks that:”In this technologically triumphant age, when the rockets begin to scream up towards the moon but the human mind seems at an even greater distance, anger has a limited use. Love has a wider application, and it is that which needs describing wherever it can be found so that we may all recognise it and learn its use.”
The inquest on his death recorded an open verdict, despite having found that it was brought about by an overdose of barbiturates. He is buried at Powerstock in Dorset.
The Sun Must Die (1949)
Silver Flame (1950)
The Daybreak Edition (1951)
The Angry Decade (1958)
Rare Bird (1959)
Question of Obscenity (1960) (with Robert Pitman)
The Bootleggers (1961)
Adventure Lit Their Star (1962) (winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize)
Strip Jack Naked (1972)
Harrier Beecher Stowe (1971)
Hard Travellin': The Hobo and his History (1972)
In the Country (1973)
Letters to his Daughter (1974)
One and All: Two Years in the Chilterns (1991)
IN THE COUNTRY
`No man fought more fiercely or spoke more eloquently for the causes he believed in so deeply. . . . he was fighting to preserve the graces of Britain long before words like ecology and conservation had become common currency.’ Brian Jackman
At the end of the 1960s, Kenneth Allsop left London and settled amid the sunken lanes, ancient forests and chalk streams of west Dorset, in a mill house where village corn and flax had been ground since Domesday. He was at his very happiest here. He thought it the loveliest place on earth, and for three years he devoted a weekly Daily Mail column to his day-to-day life at the mill, brimming with humour and delight for the wildlife which shared his home.
In the Country is not rustic or romantic. It is never unrealistic about agricultural modernisation and social change in the countryside. Yet, steeped with a deep sense of the past, Allsop’s most powerful writing speaks in defence of the natural world and stands firmly against the unchecked exploitation of the land.
Published: LITTLE TOLLER BOOKS, 6th June 2011
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It was the railway system which moulded the American hobo into the legendary figure he became, especially in the depression years, but surviving until today. His origins, however, go back to the early pioneer days. He is in fact a unique and indigenous American product, ‘capriciously used and discarded by a callous but dynamic system’. Revered and romanticized by some as the prototype of free man, he is hated and feared by others for his nonconformity. In order to trace the origins of the various types of hobo and their effect on American life, Kenneth Allsop travelled 9,000 miles across the continent, following old hobo routes, interviewing and researching as he went along.
Published: BLOOMSBURY READER, 28th September 2011
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