- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Black Swan (1 April 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0552776351
- ISBN-13: 978-0552776356
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Icons of England Paperback – 1 Apr 2010
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.
More About the Author
Photography © Julian J
"An icon in itself, with essays from many great writers on their favourite English sights" (The Times)
"bsolute must for Anglophiles of all ages... A delightfully wistful book, written with enormous affection" (She)
"A collection of thought-provoking essays celebrating Britain's rural heritage" (Business to Business)
'Icons of England is a wonderful art book that is an icon in itself.' --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
Inside This Book(Learn More)
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
So I bought this on the day it appeared, having seen his name on the cover. I recognised the style of illustration, the typeface, and therefore gladly took the plunge BUT as has been pointed out he did not write this. His contribution is the intro, and then apparently some 'editing'. So what you get is a list of people who claim the title 'celebrity' who tell us about their favourite bits of the country, their memories of childhood, or whatever pops into their acclaimed celebrity minds. Do I care what Trisha and the rest think about anything? No I don't. This book was dropped off at the charity shop very quickly and hopefully the British Heart Foundation will benefit from it far more than I did.
Initially I read the waffle contributed by some of the celebs (specifically, those people who don't annoy me) and then I tried some of the jottings by people who I've never heard of, and then on principle alone (having paid good money for this) I picked my way through those efforts written by people who ordinarily I couldn't care less about. And that's that, each one lasts a page or two and are all pretty much worthless unless you happen to be enamoured with the celebrity culture which we currently live in.
This product should not be emphasising Bill Bryson's name, and the cover art should not have been designed and illustrated in the style of all his other books. It's misleading, because it has very little to do with him. This sort of book is not for me. Some like it, I don't. I'll examine in detail the next book bearing his name before potentially wasting money on it!
Mainly because it was not written by Bill Bryson, but it was articles written by other people and only edited by him,which was not made clear in any publicity.
Although the list of celebrity contributors was no great draw to me, the fact that many are professional writers or journalists has resulted in a much better read then books that traditionally sell because of the `celeb' factor.
As a cricket fan, I would compare reading this book, to listening to Test Match Special: relaxing, cosy, often witty and a comfort in times of trial.
The book is set out into approximately two page 'chapters' where each contributor(Eric Clapton, Jo Brand, Jonathon Dimbleby, Gabby Logan, Kevin Spacey etc.) describes something that endears them to England. Some I found interesting or emotive and others just bland. I like facts and history so the chapters I enjoyed the most were the informative writings about Mary Anning the 19th century fossil hunter, Hadrian's Wall and Britain being blessed with ancient trees (with "more 500-year-old trees than France and Germany combined" in Richmond Park alone!)
Although you can 'look inside' before buying on Amazon, the chapter titles don't always give much clue as to the content. Subjects include: urban childhoods; hares; cricket; family butchers; The Green Man; The Norfolk Broads and Pub signs (that comforting "rectangle, swinging free in wind or rain...where you will find the comforts of your local town or village" no matter how far from home you are.)
Bryson does contribute in his indomitably observational style to the book at the beginning, but it would have been more fun had he contributed more. No book about Britain would be complete without a mention of the weather though, in this case by Floella Benjamin who arriving from Trinidad in 1960 had never experienced the same extent of season changes and coldness! She encapsulates about the climate, what surely most of us feel about 'Blighty' in general. It's home, and we love and miss it when we're away for any length of time...even the coldness! ;-)
Incidentally all royalties from the book go to The Campaign to Protect Rural England.
I'd certainly recommend for reading on a lazy summer afternoon somewhere in the English countryside.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought for my mum and she loved it. It is EDITED by Bill Bryson rather than written by him.Published 13 days ago by T. Wrycraft
Lots of entertaining tidbits & fascinating facts about the green & pleasant land.Published 19 days ago by R. K. Dillon
Only edited by Bill Bryson. Many of the chapters aren't about icons, they are jusy childhood memories with nothing at all iconic about them.Published 21 days ago by Mike
Book has good illustration written by different people, Bill Bryson adds commentsPublished 21 days ago by NurseJak