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A Good Parcel of English Soil: The Metropolitan Line (Penguin Underground Lines) Paperback – 7 Mar 2013


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A Good Parcel of English Soil: The Metropolitan Line (Penguin Underground Lines) + The 32 Stops: The Central Line (Penguin Underground Lines) + What We Talk About When We Talk About The Tube: The District Line (Penguin Underground Lines)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Particular Books (7 Mar 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184614616X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846146169
  • Product Dimensions: 11.5 x 0.9 x 18.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 77,839 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Young on 29 April 2013
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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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Margaret Boulton on 28 July 2013
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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 Charlie on 27 Dec 2013
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A good read looking at the areas alongside the line in terms of flora and fauna as well as the authors world.
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By Stewart M TOP 500 REVIEWER on 21 Dec 2013
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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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