by Martin Wainwright.
An enjoyable short history of what made England England.
I enjoyed this brief history of the English village. I was particularly pleased by how much emphasis Martin Wainwright—a Guardian writer and Northerner blogger—places on northern English village life, which tends to get overlooked by the southern media. I was also delighted to see one of my personal heroes, John Stevens Henslow, receive an honourable mention.
The book is packed full of interesting snippets. Well worth a read.
Just one minor quibble: Wainwright, who was born in a village near Leeds, claims that Saltaire near Bradford (and, therefore, near Leeds) is ‘the best-known nineteenth-century industrial village in England’. Although I now live close to Saltaire, the loyal Wirralean in me begs to point out that Wainwright almost certainly employed the qualifier ‘nineteenth-century’ in order to discount the far-better-known Port Sunlight—which isn’t even mentioned in the book.