studies in travel writing

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Maconie, Stuart, Adventures on the High Teas: In Search of Middle England (London: Ebury Press, 2009).

Everyone talks about ‘Middle England’. Sometimes they mean something bad, like a lynch mob of Daily Mail readers, and sometimes they mean something good, like a pint of ale in a sleepy Cotswold village in summer twilight. But just where and what is Middle England? Stuart Maconie didn’t know either, so he packed his Thermos and sandwiches and set off to find out…

Is Middle England about tradition and decency or closed minds and bigotry? Is it maypoles and evensong, or flooded market towns and binge drinkers in the park. Stands the church clock still at ten to three, and is there honey still for tea? And is Slough really as bad as Ricky Gervais and John Betjeman make out? Does Middle England hark all the way back to Arthurian legend and Merrie England, or is it a modern concept borne of Top Gear and Princess Diana? From Shakespeare to JK Rowling, Vaughan Williams to Craig David, William Morris to B&Q, Morte D’Arthur to Midsomer Murders, Stuart Maconie leads the expedition, with plenty of stop-offs for tea and pastries, to discover the truth.


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Studies in Travel Writing (journal)
Centre for Travel Writing Studies (Nottingham Trent University)

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