Monday 11 May 2009

The Beauty of Britain

From the Foreword by Charles Bradley Ford, April 1935:

Regularly each year, towards May, the newspaper reader becomes aware of a mild editorial 'drive' to extol the holiday attractions of this island to a public growing restive of its workaday environment, and beginning to dream of a blissful fortnight's freedom in the country or by the sea.

...we do know that, despite its swollen population and industrial growth, Britain can still provide as fine a field as any for the tourist, from home or overseas...

From the introduction by J.B. Priestley

Even the cottage, which has an irregularity and colouring to make it fit snugly into the landscape (as all good cottages should do), looks nearly as much a piece of natural history as the trees: you feel it might have grown there.

The fence and the gate are man-made, 
but are not severely regular and trim - as they would be in some other countries.

Ours is the country of happy surprises. 
You have never to travel long without being pleasantly astonished.

Chalk downland near Avebury Stone circles, Wiltshire.

I shall be told that the newer generations care nothing for the beauty of the countryside, that all they want is to go rushing about on motorcycles or in fast cars. Speed is not one of my gods; rather one of my devils; but we must give this evil its due. 
I believe that swift motion across the countryside does not necessarily take away all appreciation of its charm... As your car rushes along the rolling roads, it is as if you were passing a hand over a relief map...
The newer generations with their passion for speed are probably far more sensitive than they are thought to be. 

Probably they are enjoying aesthetic experiences that so far they have been unable to communicate to the rest of us.


  1. WOW!!!!!

    Lucille...this is amazing! Now to choose which one to put on my desktop! (I still have the rooftops you posted a few weeks ago:)

    And I always love how to weave your photography with words!

  2. Ok...I chose.

    The roots.

    There is just something about trees that stirs something deep inside me.

    I love seeing the details of the bark after blowing it up bigger!!

  3. I'm with Kelli. Wow. I looked at this before, but this time your entire page has loaded (I have a slow connection and sometimes have trouble with some blogs) so I can actually see them all. I do love JB Priestley's text in accompaniment to the photos. Nice. One thing I noticed about living in England... (What am I supposed to call it now? Britain? The UK? What do *you* say?)... was exactly what was shared in this post. How the old cottages fit so nicely into the natural landscape. And the fences and gates made by hand. The human touch never detracted from the natural beauty around it.