Through England on a Side-Saddle
This is the fifth of 20 volumes of the Penguin English Journeys series. I plan to read all 20 in the month of April.
In many ways this book is much like William Cobbett’s From Dover to the Wen. And if you remember, I wasn’t a huge fan of Cobbett’s book. It was good, it just wasn’t my cup of tea. Well this one is even less my cup of tea. It is remarkable in the fact that a woman travelled to every part of England from 1685 to 1703 and recorded what she found in a journal. Unfortunately what she recorded seems more like a laundry list of details than anything that has any kind of interesting narrative arc. Unlike the Cobbett book, I didn’t given this one 50 pages before abandoning it. No doubt the much earlier date of Fiennes’ book and its concomitant use of antiquated language didn’t help me in the likability category.
Each of the English Journey books has a quote from the text highlighted on the cover. The quote on the cover of Through England on a Side-Saddle kind of sums up the tedious nature of the journal. One would assume the cover quote is one of the more compelling lines from the text. So based on this thrilling quote, you tell me if you want to know more.
A great storme of haile and raine met me, and drove fiercely on me but the wind soone dry’d my dust coate…
See what I mean?
Next up: Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard and other poems