Archives for England

My top 5… novels in an English setting

Some of our best-loved novels have a strong sense of place. Setting can be an additional character. These are the English novels which, for me, create immediately for me the landscape in which they are set. ‘Waterland’ by Graham Swift [UK: Vintage] “For, flood or no flood, the Leem brought down its unceasing booty of debris. Willow branches; alder branches; sedge; fencing; crates; old clothes; dead sheep; bottles; potato sacks; straw bales; fruit boxes; fertiliser bags. All floated down on the westerly current, lodged against the sluice-gate and had to be cleared away with boat-hooks and weed-rakes.” ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’ by Thomas Hardy [UK: Penguin Classics] “The river had stolen from the higher tracts and brought in particles to the vale all this horizontal land; and now, exhausted, aged, and attenuated, lay serpentining along through the midst of its former spoils. “Not quite sure of her direction Tess stood still upon the hemmed expanse of verdant flatness, like a fly on a billiard-table of indefinite length, and of no more consequence to the surroundings than that fly. The sole effect of her presence upon the placid valley so far had bee to excite the mind of a solitary heron,
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Categories: Book Love and On Writing.