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A Good Parcel of English Soil: The Metropolitan Line (Penguin Underground Lines) Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Length: 112 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Product Description

Review

"A collection of beautiful books." "Grazia""

About the Author

Richard Mabey is a naturalist and nature writer. Among his acclaimed books are Flora Britannica, Food for Free and Nature Cure. He is a frequent contributor on BBC radio and television.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 691 KB
  • Print Length: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (7 Mar. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00ADNP52M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #408,718 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am alerted to any Richard Mabey publication and this one (short essay tho' it is) was as intersting as ever. I have lived along the Metropolitan line (i.e. in Metroland) all my life and in Chesham, at the end of the line, for 50+ years. Mabey describes many places well known to me in his own characteristic way which evokes childhood and school days, as well as describing nature in unusual and evocative ways. Did you know that tomato plants growing alongside roads, and in this case, the railway, indicate that people have thrown remnants of tomato sandwiches out of the window and the seeds have germinated?? This book also introduced me to the Penguin 150 anniversary Underground set and I have now have seven of them including the Piccadilly, along which line I travelled to school in the 1950's.
These little books are perfect presents for friends who might have connections with any of the lines.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Yes, an easy read and clearly lovingly written by Mabey and well researched. I collect Mabey's books and was happy to receive this one.
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By Stewart M TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 21 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a splendid (little) book that seems to cast a light on a number of things.

Firstly and most obviously it is a potted history of the Metropolitan Line and the towns that grew up as a result of it being built. These towns form a region known as "Metroland" - a place where imagined dreams were sold and people escaped from London.

If this were the only thing the book looked at it would be interesting enough to recommend, as this was a huge project in commercial social engineering.

But I think that the more interesting part of this book is how it casts a light on much of the author's other writing.

Books such as "The Unofficial Countryside" - which addresses the ill-defined hinterland between urban and rural - and "Nature Cure" - which looks at the beneficial contact between people and a wild places - both have their origins in the experience, and sold dreams, of Metroland.

The turn of phrase and acute observation that I have come to expect form Mabey are all in place. If this book is typical of the others in this series, they will be worthwhile and interesting reading!

Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A charming piece of work that has influenced me in ways I hadn't expected.

I bought this book to help me research the Met for my long term project of a model railway based on the area.

What I got, by the time I had reached the end of the last line (sorry!) was a head full of newly restored interest in social history, philosophy, nature, biology, poetry, Edwardian idealism, science fiction, romance and, of course, the iron dragons.

It is a well worn cliche but there really is something for everyone here. We've all dreamed, hoped, yearned. We all grow up. We all "go home" and realise things about ourselves and each other and the area.

You don't have to be Metrolander to appreciate this. My childhood was spent in the leafy suburbia of a well known English city and I could relate to the expectations, both from others and the self-inflicted but equally anyone who has become an adult, begrudgingly or otherwise can relate and respond to this.

If there is a theme running through this piece, (and I have since learnt through much of Mabey's work) it is that we as a species are not apart from nature but very much a part. For all the aspiration and energy invested in the Metropolitan, the railway ultimately plays second fiddle to the canvas of our lump of rock we call home. There is stuff about the trains, sure, but it is all put into context against the bigger picture. You will never look at tomatoes in quite the same way again.

Sentimental without being gushing/vomit inducing and fact-filled without being overwhelming/brain-aching a lot is packed into its just-shy-of 100 pages.

Perfect for an evening of escapism.
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