This collection of essays examines representations of the English countryside and its mutations, and what they reveal about a nation’s, communities’ or individuals’ search for identity – and fear of losing it. Based on a pluridisciplinary approach and a variety of media, this book challenges the view that the English countryside is an apolitical space characterised by permanence and lack of conflict. It analyses how the pastoral motif is actually subverted to explore liminal spaces and temporalities. The authors deconstruct the “rural idyll” myth to show how it plays a distinctive and yet ambiguous part in defining Englishness/Britishness. A must read for both scholars and students interested in British rural and cultural history, media and literature.