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Topic: UK travel books and/or books with UK locations

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Subject: UK travel books and/or books with UK locations
Date Posted: 8/20/2008 2:16 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 66
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Since our trip there last year, I have been devouring this type of book, and stockpiling them in a collection for future reading.  I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE OTHER PEOPLE'S LISTS OF THIS TYPE OF BOOK and thought others might like to have my list.  i don't know how many of these might show up here at paperbackswap, but here are some books i've enjoyed this year, and a lot of books i plan to read in the future:

Deborah Crombie's mysteries which take place in England

Gwen Moffatt's mysteries with Miss Pink

Derek Tangye's books about their life in Cornwall

Rhys Bowen's mysteries set in Cornwall

Living with the Laird by Belinda Rathbone (yet to be read)

Insight Guides Scotland by Discovery Channel (a travel guide with gorgeous pictures and lots of information)

Peter Ackroyd's 'London'

A House by the Shore: 12 years in the Hebrides by Alison Johnson (I am really enjoying reading this one right now)

The World of Elizabeth Goudge

James Herriott's Yorkshire (with pictures)

Poldark's Cornwall (with pictures)

From the Border Hills by Molly Clavering

City Secrets/London

How the Heather Looks by Joan Bodger

Recollections of a Tour Made in Scotland by Dorothy Wordsworth (with pictures)

Queen Victoria's Highland Journals (with pictures) put together by David Duff

Susan Allen Toth's 3 books: 'My Love Affair with England'; 'England As You LIke It'; and 'England for all Seasons'

Beatrix Potter's Lake District

Scotland: The Wild Places photographed by Colin Prior (one of the best books I've found of photography of Scotland)

Scotland's Coast photographed by Joe Cornish - another book with really great photography of Scotland

A Sense of Belonging: the favorite places of Scottish personalities by Andy Hall (a really wonderful book of pictures and descriptions)

Countryside photographed by Joe Cornish

An Innocent in Scotland by David W. McFadden

The Crofter and the Laird by John McPhee

The World of Rosamunde Pilcher (with photographs)

Sea Room and Island LIfe in the Hebrides by Adam Nicolson (yet to be read)

Beyond the Wild Wood by Peter Green (with pictures) about 'The Wind and the Willows' (yet to be read)

Meetings with Remarkable Trees (wonderful photographs of UK trees)

Enchanted Cornwall by Daphne DuMaurier (photographs)

The Making of Miss Potter (with photographs)

Bronte Country by Glenda Leeming (yet to be read)

Scotland is not for the Squeamish by Bill Watkins (yet to be read)

Writer's and their Houses by Kate Marsh (with photographs) (yet to be read)

Gervase Phinn's books about his teaching experiences; the first books if 'The Other Side of the Dale'

Our Village by Mary Russell Mitford

Faith Addis' books about their life after moving from London to Devon countryside

Castles in the Air by Judy Corbett (about restoring a stone mansion in Snowdonia)

Josephine Tey mysteries

Lovely is the Lee by Robert Giddings

Scene of the Crime  - a guide to the landscapes of British detective fiction by Julian Earwaker and Katheleen Becker

My Small Country Living - Jeanine McMullen

A Reader's Guide to Writer's London by Ian Cunningham

Green, Green My Valley Now - Richard Llewellyn

Fred Secombe's book series of memoirs of being a curate

Seasons on Harris - David Yeadon

Thistle Soup by Peter Kerr

Johnson and Boswell - a Journey to the Western Islands

Dr. Sam Johnson Detector - Lillian de la Torre

Death Under Snowdon by Glyn Carr

O Come Ye Back to Ireland - Our First Year in County Clare by Niall Williams and Christine Breen




Date Posted: 8/21/2008 6:54 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 663
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I have this book that might be a good addition to your list:

Chasing the Horizon: Our Adventures Through the British Isles and France (Journeys of Light) 

By Patrick Kinkade

with illustrations by Thomas Kinkade

ISBN-13: 9781565076587

Also, I'm currently reading The Life and Crimes of Agatha Christie by Charles Osborne, which has a lot of information about life in England. I'm up to the late 1940s, and found the World War II years were particularly interesting.


Last Edited on: 8/21/08 6:55 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/22/2008 5:47 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 66
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thanks so much!  both of those sound good. - julie

Date Posted: 3/22/2009 4:44 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,777
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I also would add to the list:

Cobwebs and Cream Teas and Dry Rot and Daffodils by Mary Mackie

Country Days by Alice Taylor

Counting My Chickens and Other Home Thoughts by the Duchess of Devonshire

Down the Garden Path by Beverley Nichols

84 Charing Cross Road and The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff

A Writer's Houes in Wales by Jan Morris

Chasing the Horizon by Patrick & Thomas Kinkade

The Edge of Day by Laurie Lee

Ireland: In a Glass of Its Own by Peter Biddlecombe

Are You Somebody? and Almost There by Nuala O'Faolain

Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides by James Boswell

Scottish Journey by Edwin Muir

Of Scottish Ways by Eve Begley

My Heart's in the Highlands by Liz Curtis Higgs

Roots of Stone by Hugh Allison

Mysterious Scotland by Michael Balfour

Four Scottish Journeys by Andrew Eames (who also wrote The 8:55 to Baghdad about the Orient Express)

This England by Mary Ellen Chase

An American's Guide to Britain by Robin Winks

Mystery Reader's Walking Guide to England by Alzina Dale

English Spring by Charles Brooks

The Dark Island by Vita Sackville-West

In the Footsteps of Johnson & Boswell by Israel Shenker

England by Nikos Kazantzakis

Here's England by Ruth McKenney

The Kingdom by the Sea by Paul Theroux

Sixpence House by Paul Collins

A Land by Jacquetta Hawkes

A Literary Tour Guide to England and Scotland by Emilie Harting

Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson

Springtime in Britain by Edwin Way Teale

These Ruins Are Inhabited by Muriel Beadle

Literary Landscapes of the British Isles by David Daiches

100 Days on Holy Island by Peter Mortimer

Travels by Marti Cranford

Looking for Class: Days and Nights at Oxford and Cambridge by Bruce Feiler

Some fiction titles:

anything by Rebecca Shaw

most of Lawana Blackwell's books

Susan Wittig Albert's Beatrix Potter Cottage Tales (and her Victorian Mysteries written as Robin Paige)

Liz Curtis Higgs Scottish series

Melanie Jeschke's Oxford Chronicles

anything by Penelope/Penny Culliford

anything by Mary Stewart

Nancy Atherton's Aunt Dimity series

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

I have more (about 3 shelves in my home library just for the non-fiction) but this list is getting rather long...

Subject: uk travel books
Date Posted: 3/23/2009 1:38 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 66
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oh, what fun!  thanks so much - i have a new notebook by my computer to put book titles that i want to read into.  this will give me a bunch more.  i have read 2 or 3 aunt dimitys and they are cute.  i have read 2 rebecca shaw's i think.  i LOVE helene hanff.  i really enjoyed sixpence house. I love the beatrix potter mysteries, but have only read the first so far.  the others are waiting on my shelf for me to get to them.  i can't thank you enough - i just put them into my notebook.

i finished 'the crofter and the laird' by john macphee, and i was a little disappointed in it.  but i still enjoyed it.  it just wasn't quite as good as the reviews on the back. 

i'm reading right now: 'once upon a time in great britain: a travel guide to the sights and settings fo your favorite children's stories' by melanie wentz - i'm really enjoying it.  i have 'how the heather looks' by joan bodger and really love that one.  i want to reread it since i read it before we went to the uk and i'd like to see if i recognize some of the places now.

and i'm reading 'the creaky traveler: in the north west highlands of scotland - a journey for the mobile but not agile' by warren rovetch - am really liking it.  he gives good descriptions so it's not just giving tips for people planning a trip.  i found the most gorgeous pictures of scotland on picasa by searching 'muckle flugga' and 'the shetlands'. 

Date Posted: 4/2/2009 1:02 PM ET
Member Since: 3/12/2009
Posts: 869
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i have: "the anglophie", "about a boy" and i'm sure others on my bookshelf. i am also currently reading "man and boy" which is set in the uk ... i'm a fan of books set the uk :)
Subject: anglophile books
Date Posted: 4/2/2009 1:08 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 66
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just finished interlibrary loan book, 'period piece' by gwen raverat - granddaughter of charles darwin/ written about everyday life growing up in cambridge (she was born in the very late 1800's). 

Date Posted: 4/2/2009 1:13 PM ET
Member Since: 3/12/2009
Posts: 869
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i forgot, bill bryson has some funny books about the uk ...
Date Posted: 4/2/2009 1:18 PM ET
Member Since: 3/12/2009
Posts: 869
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i just sent this to another member ... Yes We Have No : Adventures in the Other England by Nik Cohn
Date Posted: 4/12/2009 3:47 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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I'm surprised no one has mentioned the following book:



Last Edited on: 5/9/09 11:53 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/6/2009 4:51 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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I have a few additions:

Lillian Beckwith -- a series of books about life in the Hebrides

Sybil Armstrong -- another series of books about life in the Hebrides

Phil Rickman, thrillers and mysteries set along the Welsh border

And the classic of British village life fiction: Miss Read!!!


And thanks for starting this great thread -- I have been adding to my wish and reminder list like mad!

Date Posted: 5/9/2009 7:55 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,777
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Would you believe I just picked up The World of Rosamunde Pilcher for $1 at my library's FOL sale?! Along with a nice hardcover color copy of a gardening book by Vita Sackville-West also for only $1!!!

Date Posted: 7/16/2009 3:09 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2006
Posts: 316
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I just finished Memoirs of a Fox-hunting Man by Siegfried Sassoon. He played a lot of cricke and did the horses and houinds sport up to WWI. The book wonderfully evokes the English countryside (the Weald) and the various types of horsey people. I strongly recommend it to people as a background to novels by Agatha Christie and Margery Allingham. It was a best-seller in its day (late 1920s) because it is so plainly written. And after the Great War lots of people (not everybody) were nostalgic for the social order done in by the war.

Last Edited on: 7/16/09 3:10 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: british books
Date Posted: 7/16/2009 3:17 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 66
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wow!  bren - what fantastic finds at your library sale!  and the fox hunting book mentioned above sound really interesting.  i've just been watching the new series of agatha christie mysteries on pbs the last 2 weeks.  sounds like great background. 

Subject: sally w's list
Date Posted: 7/16/2009 3:19 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 66
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i have almost all the beckwith books.  i've read the first two and loved them.  i've got to look for the series you spoke of by sybil armstrong - hadn't heard of her before.  i also love miss read.  i specially like listening to her books on cd/tape.

Date Posted: 7/26/2009 5:04 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,777
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Julie do you like Daphne du Maurier's books? B/c if you do, you would probably like new author Kate Morton - she is very much like du Maurier in both her settings and her plot lines.

Date Posted: 1/15/2011 1:39 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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I know this thread is old, but I have gotten so many good book ideas from it that I couldn't resist adding to it. Lavinia Derwent has series about growing up in Scotland's Border Country early in the 20th Century that are very charming: A Breath of Border Air, Another Breath of Border Air, A Border Bairn, Beyond the Borders, and God Bless the Borders. She also has two books about her life as a young adult: Lady of the Manse and A Mouse in the Manse.

Also, Alan Titchmarsh wrote a book, "England, Our England", a celebration of things English.

Last Edited on: 1/17/11 4:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/15/2011 6:05 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
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i actually have one of those books on a shelf waiting for me to get to it - a friend in ireland recommended it.  i think i will move it to the front of my waiting to be read line!  thanks!

Date Posted: 3/3/2011 11:02 PM ET
Member Since: 3/3/2011
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There ir a list of bed and breakfasts in London:


bed and breakfast london



Date Posted: 3/31/2011 2:35 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
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I recently came across this list of British Village Life books on a New Zealand library website. I have read about 75% of them, and I want to attest that this list turned me on to all sorts of new books/authors and thought I would share it here with other like-minded readers:

Ferney by James Long
In an English village, Gally is drawn to an old local called Ferney. Ferney is condemned to be reincarnated through the ages but occasionally he is allowed to meet with the woman he loves.

Time for a change by Erica James
Hilary Parker is very happy: she has a kind, caring husband, David, two lively children, and she im- merses herself in both family life and life of the village of Hulme Welford. Then one morning, her entire world is turned upside down: Hilary discovers David is having an affair. Whatever she decides to do, life will never be the same again-but even so, Hilary is completely unprepared for the startling turn of events that awaits her.

Moving to the country by Anna Cheska
Jess Newman, budding interior designer, hopes to start a new life with her husband, Felix, in a quaint English village when their only daughter, Sophie, goes off to college at the start of this cozily predictable novel.

Fairacre Series by Miss Read
Eighteen books set in the English village of Fairacre. Tradition, kindness, and the interconnections between the people of Fairacre are stressed as the reader comes to know the village schoolteacher, Miss Read, and the various townspeople she encounters.

Thrush Green Series by Miss Read
Twelve books build upon each other as the reader is introduced to the townsfolk of Thrush Green. A close- knit community, the characters re-appear in the novels as they live out their lives in this small English village.

Barsetshire Novels by Angela Thirkell
The upper-middle class residents of the English town of Barsetshire live out their lives in 1930-1960 England. In a comedy-of-manners style, the men and women live, love, and cling to a refined lifestyle. Each book tells a separate story, although characters may appear in several novels. Twenty-nine novels tell the story of this small, charming town.

Miss Webster and Cherif by Patricia Duncker
Elizabeth Webster is a cantankerous spinster pushing 70. Forced out of her old school teaching job, she unleashes her sharp tongue and dogmatic opinions on everyone in the English village of Little Blessington.

The old house at Railes by Mary Pearce
Set in the Cotswolds in the mid-19th century.

Tales from Turnham Malpas Series by Rebecca Shaw
The small, gossipy English village of Turnham Malpas is the real protagonist of this entertaining first novel about life among the mannered, self-conscious British from Easter to Christmas of one year.

A country affair (The Barleybridge Series) by Rebecca Shaw
Kate arrives at Barleybridge Veterinary Practice on her first day as the new receptionist. The hills rise almost immediately from the edge of the car park, dotted all over the slopes are sheep grazing. Turning round she can see the town which has now crept up the foothills making the practice the last bit of civilisation before the hills. The setting is idyllic.

Bilbury pie : tales from the village of Bilbury by Vernon Coleman
Bilbury is a small village nestling on the edge of Exmoor in North Devon which is home to a wonderful array of colorful characters. Bilbury is the sort of tradi- tional village which offers a way of life so often envied by town and city dwellers. It boasts a warm and wel- coming village pub, crackling log fires, home-made bread, vegetables fresh from the garden and cricket on the village green.

Affairs at Hampden Ferrers : an English romance by Brian Wilson
Aldiss Hampden Ferrars is an obscure country village, not too distant from Oxford. Its village church, St Clements, is 1,500 years old, and some of the villagers decide that this record of continuity and stability should be celebrated.

Tales from Sarson Magna Series by Annie Leith
Series revolving around the inhabitants of an English country village. Molly Parminter continues to do battle with her large and ungrateful house, The Hall.

Mixed blessings by Elvi Rhodes
For Venus Stanton, the attractive young vicar of Turston, life could not be better. When she first came to this traditional parish, with its beautiful church and conservative congregation, many people found it hard to accept a woman priest. After a tricky start, however she is now accepted by most of her parish- ioners, even though some people cannot and will not recognise her.

A nest of magpies by Sybil Marshall (Swithinford series)
This tale centres round two women in Old Swithinford: Fran, who is restoring her grandfather's gracious old house, and newcomer Johanna, whose feminine appeal dazzles every man.

Burracombe Series by Lilian Harry
THE BELLS OF BURRACOMBE begins the story of life in a Devonshire village in the 1950s and shows us a picture of Britain coming to terms with the aftermath of the Second World War and entering a new decade.

Second time around by Marcia Willett
Mathilda Rainbird bequeaths her home to three rela- tives, Tessa who misses her dead parents and brother, but has learnt to live alone; Will a widow, who is drawn to Mathilda's housekeeper Isobel; and Beatrice a retired prep-school matron, who thinks the idea of living with her cousins preposterous.

Mapp and Lucia by EF Benson
This hilarious study of 1930s manners and pecking order begins when Lucia Lucas rents a summer place - the home of Miss Elizabeth Mapp - in the English village of Tilling.

Pastures New by Ann Purser
An amiable, delightfully gossipy novel set in a quaint English village.

A Village Affair by Joanna Trollope
Alice Jordan looks forward to moving into The Grey House, an 18th-century residence in a village full of friendly eccentrics. But the change of scenery leads to even greater changes, as she forms a sudden, fierce friendship with an independent young woman named Clodagh-a friendship that will take her husband, the villagers, and Alice herself by complete surprise.

A much married man by Nicholas Coleridge
As Anthony Anscombe surveys Winchford Priory, his beautiful Elizabethan house in Oxfordshire, he has the distinct feeling that he's under siege. He may be sur- rounded by his sprawling estate and one of the best pheasant shoots in the country, but lurking in the vil- lage are more than one or two reminders of a compli- cated past.

Haweswater by Sarah Hall
Sarah Hall's first novel is set in 1936 in a remote dale in the old county of Westmoreland, and tells of the flooding of the dale to make way for a reservoir, against the wishes of many of the local hill farmers. It is a story of love, obsession and the destruction of a community.

A distant shore by Caryl Phillips
The English village is a place where people come to lick their wounds. Dorothy has walked away from a bad thirty-year marriage, an affair gone sour and a dangerous obsession. Between her visits to the doctor and the music lessons she gives to bored teenagers, she is trying to rebuild a life.

And a few that I have found on my own: Fanny Frewen, The Tortoise Shell, Sunlight on the Garden, A Woman's Judgement. Gentle tales of village life.

Susanna Kearsley: Named of the Dragon, which takes place in Wales and The Shadowy Horses, along Hadrian's Wall in northern England -- both stories deeply rooted in the past with a slightly supernatural twist.

The Cotswold series by Rebecca Tope. Murder and mayhem follow housesitter, Thea Osborne in her career as a housesitter in the Cotswolds. Wonderful evocations of the Cotswolds.

Last Edited on: 5/5/11 10:12 AM ET - Total times edited: 1