Start reading In Search of the English Eccentric on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device


Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.
In Search of the English Eccentric

In Search of the English Eccentric [Kindle Edition]

Henry Hemming
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
Kindle Price: £4.35 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £5.64 (56%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £4.35  
Hardcover --  
Paperback £7.99  
Kindle Summer Sale: Over 500 Books from £0.99
Have you seen the Kindle Summer Sale yet? Browse selected books from popular authors and debut novelists, including new releases and bestsellers. Learn more

Product Description


'A lovely, heartfelt paean to English eccentrics, by a member of the tribe. A funny, timely and moving encounter with a dying breed.' (Jon Ronson)

The new Michael Palin (Tatler)

'Hemming keeps up a stream of comic patter' (Guardian)

'Hilarious' (Daily Mail)

'Hemming makes some good points' (Sunday Telegraph/ Seven)

'Hemming is a kindly collector and a champion of people who live as they see fit' (Metro)

'Highly entertaining' (Traveller)

'Intelligent and encouraging' (TLS)

Hemming makes a convincing case for the ways in which eccentrics benefit any society or era (Financial Times)

'If nothing else this book confirms the old adage "there's nothing so strange as folk" (Folkestone Herald & Dover Express)

'Entertaining and thought-provoking ... Hemming unearths a surprisingly large array of delightfully odd characters' (Cambridge Evening News)

Book Description

A witty anthropological journey in search of the quintessential English eccentric.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 423 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray (2 April 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002VCR0GM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #406,993 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

More About the Author

Henry Hemming is the author of 'Misadventure in the Middle East', 'In Search of the English Eccentric', 'Together' and most recently 'Churchill's Iceman: The True Story of Geoffrey Pyke: Genius, Fugitive, Spy'. For more, see

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sorry not good 22 Oct 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I foumd this book heavy going because its focus is on the author and his 'journey' rather than the elusive, attention-shunning eccentric. Better to read Edith Sitwell (or indeed any of the Sitwells' books) if you are interested in eccentricity.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommend it 8 Mar 2009
I found In Search of the English Eccentric in the travel section of my local bookstore, but it is far more than a travel book. In the context of travel writing, the author exoticises his native Britain led by a quest for eccentrics. The travel is also across time, reviving dandies dustied with age, in an effort to update the concept of the eccentric from its Victorian roots.

Unlike a travel book, however, this is not a list of people or places to see. The book is carefully structured around themes and introduces us to characters who fail to meet the definition of eccentric as well as to those who come out triumphant. Questioning the concept of eccentric leads Hemming into provocative terrain regarding the relationship between eccentricity, madness, perversion and creativity.

Creativity is clearly a theme close to the heart of the author, who is an artist of his own right. Each chapter is illustrated with etchings made by Hemming in the manner of a 19th century botanist. And the narrative is peppered with metaphor, creating unexpected images at every page turn. The book also reads like theatre in parts, full of carefully recorded dialogue between Hemming and his subjects.

In short, this is a playful book with an entertaining approach to serious and well researched questions about the relationship of individuals to society. I highly recommend it.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brainfood 14 July 2008
By Olivia
Wow - this was such a fascinating book! It shook up my ideas about difference and marginality. It portrays how the eccentrics' lives develop a contemporary notion of eccentricity without loosing the dimensions of the people. From the weightlessness of remembering what it is like to be childlike to issues of a national identity, it charts a journey of theoretical development with a sense of adventure and fun. Almost above all, the writing opens out moments in vibrant and vivid ways and manages to be both wide-ranging in its historical reach and yet also specific and intimate.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough and very enjoyable read 2 Oct 2013
I can't say how much I enjoyed this book.

I felt that it was not only very thorough, covering an expanse of interesting characters, but it was both witty and engaging.

Frankly, I was a bit sad when I finished!

I have just ordered another book by Hemming and I look forward to starting it.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read! 14 Aug 2012
By Zazou
I took 'In search of the English Eccentric' on holiday as light reading matter.Ha! I could not put it down. I found it absorbing and annoying at the same time, though not a light read as I expected. It was absorbing because Hemmings reveals in his writing,a weird and whacky world to which us 'usual' guys never seem to see, let alone, touch. I wanted to know more. it held me in that urge. It was annoying because from the outset, Hemmings shows a profound depth of understanding of this eccentric world [and the alternative of this world which inevitably must be mine],way beyond his years.When I discovered that Hemmings was a mere twenty seven when he penned 'In Search of' I was totally in awe. I both laughed and cried at this book. I learned a lot about another way of living, of the need for tolerant in those differences, as well as something about myself. It is a long time since a book has had such an effect on me. Excellent! Can't wait to read his other works - though now he is a little older, I might not be as impressed!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category