Under the Tump: Sketched of Real Life on the Welsh Borders

by Oliver Balch (m. 1999)


This is a beautiful book which raises important questions about home and belonging, community, and modern country life. Having lived in London and Buenos Aires, Oliver and his family substituted their urban life for a quieter existence in rural Wales. Using the diaries of the Victorian diarist Francis Kilvert - who captured the bucolic rural life of his day - as his guide, Oliver set out to explore his new home, joining in the daily lives and routines of his fellow residents: publicans, hippies, mayors, old widows, young farmers and a king and his courtiers. What emerges is a captivating, personal picture of country life in the 21st century; some things haven’t altered for centuries, while others are changing at an alarming pace. Under the Tump is published by Faber and Faber.