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A272: An Ode to a Road Paperback – 1 Oct 1999

4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Paperback, 1 Oct 1999
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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Pallas Athene Arts; 01 edition (Oct. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1873429290
  • ISBN-13: 978-1873429297
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 1.5 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 509,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Titles don't come any less inspiring than A272. But Pieter Boogaart's ode is not so much to the road itself but to the sights that can be found on either side. The A272 "represents England", the author explains in his preface. "It captures the Englishness of English life." Though born in the Netherlands, Pieter Boogaart developed Anglophilia at an early age, going on to teach English language and literature for 20 years. English roads, he believes, are beautiful, the A272 in particular. It weaves its way from Poundford in East Sussex 90 miles west--between two sets of hills, the North and South Downs--to Stockbridge in Hampshire.

The introduction begins with a fascinating analysis of roads in general, telling of connections between settlements, and of England's early occupation by the Angles and the Saxons. Travel among peasants was rare, and even as late as the 16th Century travel remained unpopular to all but the very rich. This, for good or bad, is no longer the case, with hundreds of thousands of cars using the A272 every day.

The book's layout is a little confusing, with each page divided into five sections. Columns to the left and right contain notes (biographical details, stories, poems, technical terms), the upper and lower sections describe sights found up to seven miles north and south of the road respectively, while the central section describes a high-spirited journey along the road itself. Although the subject matter might not initially appeal, Boogaart's enthusiasm is infectious. Colour photographs illustrate every page, showing sights as varied as Wisborough Green church, the gardens of Nymans and the Cheesefoot Head crop circles.--Daren King

About the Author

Pieter Boogaart is the European Secretary of the Folly Fellowship. A noted book reviewer and teacher, he lives with his wife and collaborator Rita in eastern Holland. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a really informative and entertaining travel book, and very unusual in taking a road as its inspiration. The authors realised that the A272, an attractive road that sweeps for over 90 miles east-west through the heart of southern England, running through the beautiful Weald of Sussex and Downs of Hampshire, also travels through the heart of English culture, history and landscape: as Boogaart, an ardently Anglophile Dutchman says, the country it travels through is the epitome of England. The book represents the results of his and his wife's voyage of discovery into the verdant and historic land that lies 20-30 miles north and south of the road. It's clear that their inquisitiveness about the things they have found has led them to many other discoveries about England, which they write about entertainingly in the book, whether interesting facts about the many famous writers, musicians and artists who have lived here, or about the origins of prehistoric and historical features they see, or medieval hunting, ice-houses, and many other things, even teddy bears. The amount of information they have discovered and presented in the book is phenomenal. This also accounts for one of the odd features of the book, the structure of the pages, where there is a narrative running from page to page but in addition, on either side and at the top and bottom of each page, there are separate narratives conveying a miscellany of supporting information around the subject matter in question. This is a quirky feature but I thought it added to the interest and fun of the book. I've lived in this part of England for almost 20 years and share Boogaart's love and enthusiasm for this beautiful, wonderful and historic part of our country. I bought his book when it first came out and I bought the updated edition. Anyone who lives in this part of south-east England or who are thinking of coming here as tourists should try to get their hands on this book. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
I agree with the previous writer in that I too must have been wandering around with my eyes closed.

I initially borrowed this book from my local library, but loved it so much that I bought my own copy.

The book is stuffed to the gills with anecdotes, stories of interesting characters and pictures of follies, castles, pub signs, statues and bridges. All in the vicinity of the road. A fascinating read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Despite being a great idea, the way the text is arranged led to a rather fragmented read. Packed with information, insight, anecdotes and pictures, almost too much at times to comprehend. It lacked a certain flow and would be better used to dip into whilst cruising the A272. A mountain of data for a fine road.
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By A Customer on 9 Mar. 2000
Format: Paperback
Quirky, amusing and fascinating. I felt ashamed that I had clearly been wandering around with my eyes closed for many years. This book is a real eye-opener.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I remmember a tv documentary about the A303. I regularly use the A303 and found it interesting to see the history of the road.
The A272 was a not a documentary but a book, i understand that. But i just could not get interested in it. I drive the A272 but could not really get engrossed in it. A mish mash of things along the way, accurate but the style of writing did not do the road justice. I'll pass it on to some one else who might like it.
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Format: Paperback
I borrowed a friends copy of this book and enjoyed it so much I had to have my own. A little difficult at first to get around the layout of the pages, but once mastered, a lovely book. Gives the history of the A272 and many towns and villages along the route. Packed with excellent photos.Great for dipping in and out of and a must if you live in the area or are travelling along it.
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Format: Paperback
A very comprehensive guide to the only very busy major east-west arterial road in the South of England. However, it is only a snapshot in time and consequently, it is now a little out-of-date because of continual changes and improvements to the road.
Biggest complaint is with each page being broken down into four sections, there is a disjointed flow of articles requiring constant flicking back and to of the pages!
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