The preface to The Shepherd’s Life: A Tale of the Lake District by James Rebank begins with a memory from his teenage years. He remembers a school assembly, when he realized for the first time that the Lake District is seen differently by outsiders.

Rebanks talks about the teachers’ attempts to convince children to move away from the Lake District and aim higher than simply becoming farmers like their ancestors. Rebanks also talks about the conflict between students and teachers, caused by the teachers’ ideas that those who chose to stay in the Lake District and work on their farms are making a wrong life choice. 

Rebanks then talks about one teacher who spoke at the assembly and who made him realize the different ways in which the Lake Distri...

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