I have loved this book for years - first reading it when I was about 14 or so, and re-reading so aften that my copy has now fallen apart some 30 years later. Raverat's writing is superb - amusing, evocative, ironic and self-deprecating. There are so many wonderful and pithy passages: for example, she relates her (American) mother's account in a letter of a day trip to Ely Cathedral which is merely: 'the architecture was very good.' As Raverat says of this 'admirably terse' report, 'I don't see what more anyone could say after that.'
The antics of my daughter's teenage contemporaries (fake tan, fake eyelashes etc etc) remind me of Raverat's analysis of her fellow schoolgirls and fashion in 1902 at the same age: 'I thought (I am afraid, with a touch of superiority); How frightful they all look, and what a lot of trouble they have taken to make themselves look still more frightful. I am sure I look every bit as hideous, but at any rate I haven't taken any trouble about it at all.'
Raverat was celebrated as an artist and wood engraver too, and her delightful line drawings and engravings only add to what is pretty much a perfect book.