'Open this book with reverence. It is a hymn to England - the old England, the England of beach huts and Constable skies.' Clive Aslet.
This beautiful book acts both as a touchstone for people's memories and as a guide to the visually lovely places and artefacts that we can still see and enjoy today, but as far away from a traditional `tourist' guide as can be imagined.
There is probably no illustrated book as eclectic as this. Where else will a Hornby clockwork train be happy alongside a Tiptree jam jar, or a Romney Marsh church rub along with a set of Len Deighton book jackets? A personal natural history of fungi and flowers will segue into an essay on Typhoo tea packets; London transports of delight into unique views of English market towns.
Ruined Norfolk churches, the pleasures of seaside holidays, the mysteries of landmark fir trees. All these things are written about with passion, knowledge and humour.
Peter Ashley is the author and photographer of London Peculiars, More London Peculiars and Pastoral Peculiars. He collaborated with Philip Wilkinson on books accompanying the BBC Restoration programmes and The English Buildings Book, the ultimate guide to building types.