Royal Shows and Agricultural Progess, 1839-1989

The 150 years of Royal Shows in Britain cast useful light on the changing relationship between man and the countryside and the love-hate relationship of farming and technology, argues Nicholas Goddard.

The 1989 Royal Show, being held at Stoneleigh between July 3rd and 6th, is the 150th in a sequence which began when the newly formed English Agricultural Society held its first 'Country Meeting' at Oxford. The history of this important national event mirrors the changing fortunes of the agricultural industry since early Victorian times, and provides an insight into the nature of the innovations that have contributed to agricultural progress since the mid-nineteenth century.

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