My Year as an Armchair Anglophile — 19 Comments

  1. A great list of books. I think I’ve read the book on Mary Wollstonecraft and really liked the book. She lived an unconventional life for her era.
    Peter Ackroyd has written many books on Great Britain. I have a book in my TBR pile which is his newest book: Tudors: The History of England From Henry VIII to Elizabeth I.
    Sorry but I’ve only read the book about Mary Wollstonecraft.

  2. After reading Paris by Edward Rutherfurd last year, I am anxious to read London, which has been sitting on my shelf for far too long. Should you choose to read that one, let us know and perhaps we can schedule a virtual read-along(?)

    I have taken two groups of students to London in the past and will be taking another group in 2015. It is a fabulous adventure – and a day trip to Oxford is highly recommended!

    • Thanks! I hadn’t realized that Oxford was close enough to London to make it a day trip. I always imagine places in Europe as farther apart than they are. Have you heard the joke that in Europe 500 miles is a long distance and in the United States 500 years is a long time? Did you go to Oxford on the train?

      Yes — let’s do a group read of London by Edward Rutherfurd. Maybe in February?

      • If you time it right and get to Oxford early enough, you might also want to consider taking a bus from Oxford to Blenheim Palace – the grounds and the house are both gorgeous, and it’s Winston Churchill’s birthplace.

  3. What a great year of reading you have ahead of you- and hopefully a great trip too…. I haven’t read any of your titles, but I have read one of Peter Ackroyd’s other books, it was great. You don’t have any Austen I notice, if you go to Bath you’d have to include something by or about her. I look forward to seeing what you choose.

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  6. This is such an exhaustive list, and I applaud you on the way you’ve decided to focus on certain arenas for your trip. Marvelous. I never thought of traveling in that manner. Keep us posted!

  7. I would definitely recommend a day or two in York – it’s such a delightful medieval city (even though this is a bit past your timeline). I’ve always leaned more towards the Tudors and Plantagenets so I’m not sure how many recommendations I can provide on the book front. However, I notice you have London by Rutherford up there. He also has one called Sarum which is about the area around Stonehenge and Salisbury, and I took a one day bus trip from London which involved stops at Bath, Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedrale – anyway if you are interested in any of those sites, that novel might not be a bad read, either. I didn’t want to rent a car so the bus trip was a convenient way for me to hit all three of those, even if I don’t always enjoy being on someone else’s timeline. I’m also not sure how cost efficient those types of day trips/tours are for more than one traveler.

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  10. What a great list. I had to “pin” it.
    I love reading books before big trips too to learn about where I’m going especially when you’ve got a theme for your trip. It’s amazing how much you can learn when you visit the places when you do that as I recently did on a trip to Normandy with a WWII theme (of course!). I felt much more focused on the sites I was visiting and it turned out to be a wonderful trip, as I’m sure your trip to England will be.
    From your list I’ve read (well listened to) ‘Notes From a Small Island’ and all I can say is Bill Bryson made me want to visit every single one of those towns and cities he mentioned in it. He made them all seem like the ultimate tourist destination. I’m looking forward to reading some more of his books and some of the ones you’ve listed in this post.

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