Country Life celebrates 120th anniversary with bumper issue as editor says 'we won't be bossed by modernisers'

Country Life has marked its 120th anniversary with a bumper 264-page issue as the magazine’s editor insists the title is still “fresh as a daisy”.

The special issue includes the “most poignant, quirky and historically defining stories and photographs” to have appeared in the countryside magazine since its first issue on 9 January, 1897.

Highlights include the Prince of Wales’ role as guest editor in 2013 and a “world exclusive” revealing of the face of Shakespeare.

Country Life is also staging a Beautiful Rooms & Blushing Brides exhibition at the Linley Belgravia showroom until Saturday 17 June to celebrate the milestone. The exhibition will feature portraits from the magazine’s frontispiece page and interiors photography.

Editor Mark Hedges said: “Here we are, 120 years old and fresh as a daisy. Country Life is regarded as a national institution and a magazine of record, celebrating the British way of life.

“Our ever-growing number of readers proves that we are thriving, not surviving. We won’t be bossed by the modernisers who say the world we report on week by week is out-of-date.

“We stand up for what we believe in: the beauty of the countryside and the riches of British cultural life. Traditional? We are proud to admit it – but bursting with fresh ideas. That’s what, at 120, keeps us young.”

Country Life revamped its website last month with a “modern design” and a “more user-friendly navigation”.

The weekly magazine has a circulation of 39,361, according to ABC figures to the end of December 2016.

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