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A Country Life: At Home in the English Countryside
     

A Country Life: At Home in the English Countryside

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by Roy Strong, Julia Trevelyan Oman (Illustrator)
 

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Sir Roy Strong and his wife, the designer Julia Trevelyan Oman, have lived in the country for nearly thirty years. In 1987 he was asked to write an occasional column reflecting this quintessentially English way of life for the prestigious magazine A Country Life. This charming book brings these popular pieces together, portraying the passing of the seasons

Overview

Sir Roy Strong and his wife, the designer Julia Trevelyan Oman, have lived in the country for nearly thirty years. In 1987 he was asked to write an occasional column reflecting this quintessentially English way of life for the prestigious magazine A Country Life. This charming book brings these popular pieces together, portraying the passing of the seasons in what the author describes as his ‘beloved adopted county’ of Herefordshire.

A Country Life is a wide-ranging kaleidoscope of memories and observations, embracing the countryside, gardens, cooking, and remembrances of things both long gone and only yesterday. The author writes lyrically of the arrival of the bright green tarragon shoots in spring; of the delights of eating al fresco; of making sorbets from blackberry and quince; of the russet beech hedges in winter and the sweet nostalgia that comes from unpacking Christmas decorations.

The keynote of A Country Life is delight – a portrait of life in the English countryside, which seems as old as time itself.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Splendid baroque prose.”
---The Independent [U.K.]

“Sir Roy was blessed at birth, or at the font, with the tongue of a ready writer. His prose is compulsive...like a glittering conversation with the best-informed and most charming of companions.”
---A. N. Wilson, author of The Victorians

Publishers Weekly
Flowery language abounds in this slim collection of diary-like musings by Strong, former director of Britain's Victoria & Albert Museum and National Portrait Gallery. Now a critic, historian and garden designer to such clients as Prince Charles, Elton John and the late Gianni Versace, Strong cuts a broad swath on the English arts scene. Thankfully, his upper crustiness is softened by eccentric charm, making these dispatches from his country estate, the Laskett, an entertaining choice for armchair gardeners and society wannabes. Published in Britain's Country Life magazine from 1989 to 1994, the entries are seasonally arranged, chronicling the ins and outs of daily life in Herefordshire. "At the Laskett," Strong writes, "I know that spring is really here when the pleached lime avenue we call Elizabeth Tudor is thickly carpeted with daffodils... and also when the fountain, emptied for the duration of winter, spurts and sparkles once again in the light outside the breakfast room window." Autumn's first frost "[causes] us to retreat from conservatory to dining room to eat." Winter heralds the passing of Strong's beloved cat Reverend Wenceslas Muff, who is succeeded by William Larkin Esq. and Herzog Friedrich von Sans Souci, kittens whom Strong trains to walk on a leash. An opening article reprinted from Hortus describes the house and garden ("the largest formal garden in England to be planted from scratch since 1945") in detail. B&w sketches by Strong's wife, Oman, a designer for film, television and theater, add to the volume's unique appeal. (Mar.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312307097
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
03/25/2003
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
5.32(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.77(d)

Meet the Author

Sir Roy Strong is well known as a historian and garden writer, lecturer, critic, columnist and regular contributor to both radio and television. He was Director of the National Portrait Gallery in London from 1967--1973 and of the Victoria & Albert Museum from 1974--1987. He has published a number of highly acclaimed books about gardening and history including The Story of Britain and The Spirit of Britain. He lives with his wife, designer Julia Trevelyan Oman, in Hereford.

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A Country Life: At Home in the English Countryside 1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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