I am cheating a little bit today so that I can use Travel Book for my letter T in the Blogging Through the Alphabet series. But I have to tell you about this darling book! I am currently planning a trip to England now because of this book! Seriously – I would go tomorrow and I just finished the book today.
Traveling is a dream. I like to do it but I don’t like to plan it. This book, well, basically plans my trip for me. Of course, that is not her purpose, but it works for me. 🙂
A Fine Romance: Falling in love with the English Countryside by Susan Branch is her diary of a 2012 trip she took with her husband to England. She talks about where the dream originated and then goes through their two month trip (yea – 2 whole months!) through all the dreamy places in England that I would want to go.
The visit begins on the voyage over, aboard the Queen Mary 2. They visit Tenterden in Kent, Aylesbury, London, Wirksworth in the Peak District, Ambleside in the Lake Distict, the Yorkshire Dales, The Cotswolds, Bibury, Tetbury, Chawton in Hapshire. They visit the homes of Beatrix Potter, Ellen Terry (actress), Vanessa Bell (sister of Virginia Woolf), Rudyard Kipling, Vita Sackville-West (author), Jane Austen, and so much more. There were stunning gardens galore. Beautiful footpaths that led through breathtaking views. And plenty of foods to experience.
While all of these diary entries are unique and fun and interesting, the pages have been illustrated in watercolors done by the author herself. They are beautiful! Words cannot describe. This is a stunning beautiful book. I have spent quite a bit of time just looking at how lovely each page is. The watercolors, sketches, and photographs are a story in and of themselves.
I cannot forget to tell you about the quotes. Throughout the book, Mrs. Branch puts quotes from various authors and other people that fit in well with the place they visit or the idea she is expressing in her writing. They are often hand-lettered and add such whimsy and character to the book. Just another part of what makes this book such a joy.
Add it all together and this is a “not to be missed” kind of book. I am kind of sad that I have to return it to the library because it is so pretty and so interesting. But, I am keeping track of the title and if I ever get the chance to spend some time just wandering the English countryside, this book – A Fine Romance: Falling in love with the English Countryside by Susan Branch – will be my guidebook.
This is part of the Blogging Through The Alphabet series.