Discovering Historic Stroud Together

Radical Stroud - Landscape (1)

I started writing A Guide to the Radical History of Stroud and the Five Valleys a year ago, with a narrative history occasionally touched by a comedic Mark Steele/ Mark Thomas style of analysis. After a year, I have reached the mid-nineteenth century, in terms of content, with a definite feeling that my style and approach are about to change. A visit to the Writing Britain exhibition at the British Library has made me think more widely about the relationship between landscape, literature, the writing of history and pyschogeography. It has also made me think more deeply about the collaborative use of different media in the presentation of my findings – as opposed to the lonely writer in the garret trope. Hence this blog, as a first step, as a first step towards discovering, perpetuating and developing the genius loci of Stroud and the Five Valleys. The story is too important for humour: serious history and literature might be needed; as will a group-effort. A lot of people who move into Stroud are fascinated by its radicalism and wonder whence it came; let us hope that we can all, locals and newcomers alike, answer the question, “What is the peculiar genius loci of Stroud and its associated valleys?”