A few years ago I finished reading Harmony by HRH Prince Charles. Intrigued by his love of nature, I decided to research if there were any other published books, articles or interviews that Prince Charles might have written or contributed to. I came across this quote:
“And what greater icon could we have than our countryside, which I have always believed helps define our identity as a nation.” (HRH, The Prince of Wales: Icons of England. London: Transworld Publishers, 2010)
For some reason this quote struck me and I was curious to find this book: Icons of England from which Prince Charles penned the aforementioned quote.
HRH Prince Charles writes a rather nice foreword introducing the book as well as a small plea to take into consideration Bill Bryson’s group The Campaign to Save Rural England. After reading just bits from the book via Google Books and searching for a while, I was able to obtain a copy of Icons of England (as it is out of print). Icons of England is a collection of short vignettes about the English countryside. Edited by Bill Bryson, the book takes you on a journey through the English countryside through the eyes of rock legend Eric Clapton, BBC’s Katie Adie, Chef Raymond Blanc, 80′s icon Bryan Ferry, comedian Jo Brand, actor Kevin Spacey and authors Jonathan Dimbledy and Sebastian Faulks to name a few.
Icons of England does not just focus on the stereotypical green backdrops and the variety of monuments, castles and places that comprise centuries of history that set England apart from the rest of the world. Each contributor brings their own special touch, presenting a distinctive and eclectic variety of personal icons ranging from local pub signs to meadows, from corner stores to orchards, and from the perfect cricket pitch to post boxes. This is by no means a page turner, but a nice book to read a few pieces each day and mentally take a walk with each of the authors throughout the English countryside, their English countryside.
Photo credit: mrmorodo and Ben Sutherland via photpin.