England, says Matthew Engel, is the most complicated place in the world. And, as he travels through each of the historic English counties, he discovers that's just the start of it. Every county is fascinating, the product of a millennium or more of history: still a unique slice of a nation that has not quite lost its ancient diversity. He finds the well-dressers of Derbyshire and the pyromaniacs of Sussex; the Hindus and huntsmen of Leicestershire; the goddess-worshippers of Somerset. He tracks down the real Lancashire, hedonistic Essex, and the most mysterious house in Middlesex. In Durham he goes straight from choral evensong to the dog track. As he seeks out the essence of each county - from Yorkshire's broad acres to the microdot of Rutland - Engel always finds the unexpected . Engel's England is a totally original look at a confused country: a guidebook for people who don't think they need a guidebook. It is always quirky, sometimes poignant and often extremely funny.
Amusing, wry, perceptive and forever serving up nuggets of the obscure, Matthew Engel visits each of the ancient English counties in a travelogue with a difference. He declares that there’s no place so rum as England, and to prove it he introduces his readers to a range of characters both eccentric and tender. From the pagans of Somerset to the hotpots of Lancashire, he roots out the facets of our land that foreigners have for centuries found beguiling, but which the English themselves have frequently overlooked. Engel’s enthusiasm is infectious and his book a joy to read.
Praise for Eleven Minutes Late:
'A Train Journey to the Heart of England: 'It is a testament to Engel's skill as a writer that he makes what could have been really quite depressing and tiresome appear fascinating and engaging throughout. You feel he could turn his hand to provide a diverting account of grouting ... This is a supremely useful book as well as an enjoyable one. It asks, and answers, all the right questions.'
'Highly personal and very funny'
- London Review of Books
'The book is a triumph and deserves an audience far beyond those infatuated with the clickety-clack of steel wheels'
Publication date: 04/06/2015
Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
|Publication date:||4th June 2015|
|Publisher:||Profile Books Ltd|
Matthew Engel was a journalist at the Guardian newspaper for nearly twenty-five years. During that time he reported on wars, elections, the fall of the Berlin Wall and countless major sporting events, ranging from three Olympic Games to the world tiddlywinks championships. He now writes the least fiscally aware column in the Financial Times and is editor of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. He lives in Herefordshire with his wife and daughter.More About Matthew Engel