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Saturday, February 18, 2012

That splendid England!

Imagine a parcel of books being dropped on your doorstep every morning. You don't know what they are till you open the package. All you know is that they are not just any old books... well, there's a fair chance they could be old; much more than a hundred years old.

  I have a pleasant time each day, if things go right, opening this electronic parcel and seeing what's in there. I've got several lined up to share excerpts with you at a later stage, but the paintings below are twenty of the best from a fascinating book published in 1914. The text of this book is also engaging as a top-down view characteristic of the period.

  I'll say no more, but if you have an eBook reading program on your computer, you can read the text as well as all the paintings, and see how England looked through the eyes of a gentleman just before World War 1 broke out.

The captions are taken directly from the text, including the spelling, so don't be surprised if it's a little different here and there from today's.

  I hope you enjoy viewing them as much as I did selecting them.

England by Sir Frank Fox

Richmond, Yorkshire

Norman Staircase, King's School, Canterbury

A Kent Manor-House and Garden

A Sussex Village

The Bridge of Sighs, St. John's College, Cambridge

Broad Street, Oxford, looking West

Harvesting in Herefordshire

Cricket at "Lord's"

Trout-fishing on the Itchen, Hampshire

Dean's Yard, Westminster

Sailing Boats on the Serpentine, Hyde Park, London

Watergate Street, Chester

Thames at Richmond, Surrey

Spring by the Thames

Glastonbury Abbey, Somersetshire
Anne Hathaway's Cottage near Stratford-on-Avon

Gipsies on a Gloucestershire Common

The Tower from the Tower Bridge, looking West

Hyde Park, London

Changing the Guard


  1. These are lovely - specially love the Itchen one, as my grandmother lived on the Itchen - her house was actually called 'Itchenbrook Cottage' and Colvinius and I used to go down to a little bridge over it and play poohsticks.

  2. There are several others in the volume with a more urbanised setting; all charming in their own way. You made me ask myself which particular one appealed most to me and I do like the Sussex village; possibly because it's a style that my mother [and sisters] followed.

    We had our own version of Poohsticks with bottlebrush leaves in some of the narrower streams connecting the deeper pools of the creek.

    The little one watching the changing of the guard in the last one is very cute.


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