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Wild Hares and Hummingbirds: The Natural History of an English Village
Wild Hares and Hummingbirds: The Natural History of an English Village
by Stephen Moss
Edition: Hardcover

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A charming nature diary, 28 Sep 2011
Taking his inspiration from Gilbert White's landmark 1789 book The Natural History of Selborne, Stephen Moss spends a year watching the wildlife in one particular country parish -- in this case, centred on his home village of Marsh, in the Somerset Marches. "By looking in depth at what happens here", Moss writes, "I hope to reveal a broader truth about the current fortunes of our countryside, its people, and its wildlife." His knowledge of, and sympathetic understanding of, the countryside and the natural world suffuses every page of this charming nature diary.


The Little Village School
The Little Village School
by Gervase Phinn
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 17.51

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Written with all the humour and warmth one has come to expect from this master storyteller., 28 Sep 2011
Change is on the way for the sleepy village of Barton-on-the-Dale when the new head teacher arrives at the primary school. Elisabeth Devine is a breath of fresh air: energetic, vivacious (she scandalises the school board by wearing red shoes and lacy stockings to the interview) and full of ideas to improve the school. Villages are small communities, though, and not all the villagers are happy with the changes to their settled lives that Elisabeth's arrival brings. As she makes new friends Elisabeth also has to fight for what she believes in, as she realises just how much her new life means to her.

This debut novel for adults from Gervase Phinn is an entertaining tale peopled with believable characters and full of funny and touching incidents, written with all the humour and warmth one has come to expect from this master storyteller.


Food Britannia
Food Britannia
by Andrew Webb
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 20.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating gastronomic tour of the country, 28 Sep 2011
This review is from: Food Britannia (Hardcover)
British food has not been regarded as one of the world's great cuisines --the eighteenth-century Sicilian nobleman Domenico Caracciolo remarked that "In England, there are sixty different religions and only one sauce" -- so food journalist Andrew Webb undertook a gastronomic tour of the country to seek out intrepid local producers, the best regional dishes and traditional recipes. He searches out Staffordshire oatcakes (also known as the 'Potteries popadom'), Bedfordshire clangers (originally a labourer's lunch in the form of a boiled suet pudding with meat at one end and fruit at the other) and Bosworth jumbles (a sweet delicacy whose recipe was supposedly found in the dead hand of King Richard III after the Battle of Bosworth). As well as celebrating the nation's food heritage, Andrew proves that the future of British food should be an intriguing and exciting one.


Broken Dreams (Joe Geraghty)
Broken Dreams (Joe Geraghty)
by Nick Quantrill
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.37

5.0 out of 5 stars Skilful plotting and subtle characterisation, 16 Sep 2011
For Joe Geraghty, former rugby league professional and now private investigator based in Hull's Old Town, a routine job looking into a local woman's absenteeism from work takes a sinister turn when she is found bleeding to death in her bed. He is soon caught in a web of dark family secrets, corporate corruption and even murder, harking back to the days of Hull's thriving fishing industry and looking forward to the city's regeneration plans ... and even bringing back haunting memories of his wife's mysterious death a few years earlier. Geraghty's investigations provoke lots of questions - but who can give him the answers?

The skilful plotting and subtle characterisation in this debut novel by Hull born and based writer Nick Quantrill mark him out as an author to watch.


The History of Christmas Food and Feast
The History of Christmas Food and Feast
by Claire Hopley
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 17.77

3.0 out of 5 stars Celebrates the season of good cheer and good food, 7 Sep 2011
Food historian Claire Hopley celebrates the season of good cheer and good food in this survey of classic Christmas tales and the food that accompanied them. We rediscover the meals enjoyed by literary characters through history, from Sir Gawain (whose Christmas Eve feast was fish) to Bridget Jones and her festive turkey curry. Claire also reveals the foods enjoyed by the great writers themselves, with a recipe for the lemon mincemeat which was traditional in Jane Austen's family, while Charles Dickens -- who established many of our Christmas traditions -- enjoyed cod in oyster sauce, in a mouthwatering pre-Christmas supper that also included roast beef, roast duck and mince pies.


Hardy's Landscape Revisited
Hardy's Landscape Revisited
by Tony Fincham
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 18.58

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This fascinating book would appeal to anyone with an interest in Hardy or in the novels of English rural life., 7 Sep 2011
Thomas Hardy is one of our greatest writers of landscape and place, and the Wessex of his novels formed a living backdrop to the tragic lives of his characters. Follow in the footsteps of Bathsheba, Jude and Tess in this series of walks and car tours through Hardy's landscapes as described in his novels. The author is the chairman of the Thomas Hardy Society and has been exploring Hardy's Wessex for thirty-five years, and his in-depth knowledge of the area is evident in this fascinating book which would appeal to anyone with an interest in Hardy or in the novels of English rural life.


Gravestones, Tombs and Memorials: Symbols, Styles & Epitaphs (England's Living History)
Gravestones, Tombs and Memorials: Symbols, Styles & Epitaphs (England's Living History)
by Trevor Yorke
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.23

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A concise and well-illustrated overview of an often overlooked subject., 7 Sep 2011
Graveyards are places of remembrance and reflection, but can also give an interesting insight into changes in social history and architectural styles through the centuries.

Ecclesiastical historian Trevor Yorke explains burial practices down the ages, and describes the development of the churchyard and cemetery; he explains the changing styles of gravestones and tombs, from the earliest Saxon grave-slabs to elaborate Victorian headstones, and the meaning behind the carvings and symbols that decorate them, for example an encircled serpent biting its tail (signifying eternity) and a skull and crossbones (signifying mortality, as the skull and two thigh bones were believed to be the parts of the body required for resurrection).

A concise and well-illustrated overview of an often overlooked subject.


Gardens of Earthly Delight: The History of Deer Parks
Gardens of Earthly Delight: The History of Deer Parks
by John Fletcher
Edition: Paperback
Price: 21.62

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A detailed and scholarly history of deer parks, 7 Sep 2011
A detailed and scholarly history of deer parks, from their role as hunting grounds of medieval nobility to modern-day visitor attractions at country-house properties.


Crop Circles: Art in the Landscape
Crop Circles: Art in the Landscape
by Lucy Pringle
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars 'Land art' to rival anything by Richard Long, 7 Sep 2011
Crop circles are enigmas. Are they created by strange natural phenomena, extra-terrestrial visitors or mischievous hoaxers? What is not in doubt is their strange beauty and geometric complexity when viewed from the air. Each summer, Lucy Pringle takes to the air and photographs these mysterious creations, many of them hundreds of feet across, and has now brought together a selection of her favourites in this book. There are circles and swirls, fractals and Mandelbrot patterns, spiders' webs and labyrinths, atomic clocks and Mayan calendars. This is 'land art' to rival anything by Richard Long or Andy Goldsworthy.


Country Lives Remembered
Country Lives Remembered
by Brian P. Martin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 7.11

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reveals the true character of the English countryside, 7 Sep 2011
"I always wanted to be a farmer", recalls Ken Liverton, "there's nothin' to take its place." Ken left school aged fourteen, in 1929, to start work on the family farm in Hampshire, which was rented at ten shillings an acre. When aged seventy-seven, he recounted his life and times to Brian P Martin (former author of the 'Rusticus' column in The Countryman magazine). "I used to plough all day long", remembers Ken, "from eight till five just to get an acre done. But there was always something to look at, and no noise."

Brian Martin has interviewed Ken and eleven other English countrymen whose lives spanned the period from Edwardian England to the present day. Their first-hand accounts of their life and work, from farming and beekeeping to stick-making and chimney-sweeping, shed a new light on the countryside, and the huge changes it has undergone in living memory. But what shines through each account is that every narrator is, as Brian says, "a true character of the English countryside, that good yeoman stock whose line is apparently endless".


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