The Most Beautiful Villages of England Paperback – 6 Jul 2009
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Villages are the very embodiment of Englishness. The village inn and the local farm, great houses, humble cottages and beautiful country gardens speak of a way of life that has developed peacefully since Anglo-Saxon times. This book records the beauty and diversity of the English village in commentary and photography.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is the perfect book for lovers of traditional English villages and photography. It lives up to its name and will not disappoint.
It needs mentioning that it is a big book - (30.8 x 24.8 x 2 cm); this forms some great panoramic and scaled photos but can make the guide physically heavy and cumbersome. I think the format would have been better in a smaller size which would lend itself more practically to traveling and touring.
Traversing the northern, eastern, western and southern counties, the guide aims to offer a taste of English village beauty. The author acknowledges in his written introduction, that the villages are picked more by regional representation as opposed to a strict top list of his most beautiful villages. Perhaps something is lost here though - as when I purchased the book, I felt I was getting the title: the author's version of the most beautiful villages in England. Instead, more aptly, I acquired a regional guide to some of the most beautiful villages in England, according to the author(s). I would have preferred a top list, whatever and whichever the regions.
There is some insightful historical information associated with the villages and is suggestive of a lost English world -- a world that is still very real, and maintains its underlying culture, legacy and heritage. Through it, I learnt of new places which was a bonus.
The photographs are clear and the text is fairly concise. Whether it is a guide that I will refer to in years to come is doubtful, but it is still nice to have on your bookshelf.
However, having said that, the photographs are lovely and there is enough information about the villages to make it more than just a photo album. I think it would make a great coffee table book (if people still have such things)- it is nice to flick through.
My biggest disappointment was that with such a range of beautiful villages in this country, only 36 are detailed in this book and of course, everybody has their own opinion of what make a beautiful village. There are many more that I would have included and at least a couple in this book which I have visited, which I would definitely leave out! However - beauty being in the eye of the beholder, that is always going to be a discussion point for such books. Maybe another reason to have a copy lying around?!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a beautiful book and was received in a reasonable condition (torn outer leaf only) as I paid under £2 for it it was jolly good value.Published 18 months ago by izzywizzy