A272: An Ode to a Road Paperback – 1 Oct 1999
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book is fine, so was the service. Nothing more to say, just filling in the required number of wordsPublished on 19 April 2013 by sweetp
I love this book. We live near the A272 and always refer to it when we fancy a day out. The format of the book takes a little getting used to but it contains a vast the amount of... Read morePublished on 18 Sept. 2012 by sussexhousewife
This book is crammed with information about the South Downs and Sussex Weald areas, based on the A road that runs through them. Read morePublished on 17 April 2012 by Charlie G