Tag Archives: reference

Book of the British Countryside

On the same day that I found the Catweazle Annual I found this.

Book of the British Countryside spine

Book of the British Countryside spine

Published in 1973 by Drive Publications Limited for the AA. I don’t know if it originally had a jacket with flaps or if this was intentional – but there is no title on the front cover. It has a ribbon marker – now broken away from the spine. The book has got damp at some point – but it might just be where it’s been sitting in the outside racks at the bookshop.

Book of the British Countryside cover

Book of the British Countryside cover

And it’s 536 pages of interestingness. While, obviously, some of it is out of date – red kites are no longer rare, and we know boxing hares are males and females now, etc, etc – it’s an incredibly useful resource and very interesting to dip in and out of. (It’s also interesting to see what has changed in the past – oh, my goodness – forty years!)

Book of the British Countryside inside

Balsam to barn

It’s arranged alphabetically, beginning with Abbey and ending with Zander – with some supplementary material on the making of the British Isles, glossary ‘nouns of congregation’ etc.

Book of the British Countryside inside

Stoats to stocks

Book of the British Countryside inside

Sherds and shrikes

Sometimes an entry is expanded into an illustrated spread:

Book of the British Countryside inside

Man-made forests

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World Cities – Yesterday and Today (a book of maps)

Cover of World Cities Yesterday and Today


World Cities Yesterday and Today by Michael Swift Published in 2009 by Fall River Press

This is not an old book, but a book of old maps. According to the cover there are over 250 maps and satellite images. There are over 50 cities covered. All have a satellite image with the area the old maps cover highlighted in different colours. Some cities might only have one map, some have several.

Now I love an old map, so this is heaven for me. Lovely to browse though, but I can imagine a good reference book for a writer of historical fiction (or non fiction even).

Here are three of the maps.
This one is Edinburgh early 18th Century

Edinburgh from World Cities maps


Here’s New York 1821

New York from World Cities maps

New York

Paris c.1700

From World Cities Maps


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Books and illustrators from my childhood number 5 – Ladybird Books

I loved Ladybird books. We had a large collection – many of which, I seem to remember, my mum had acquired from somewhere. We had reading-scheme books, make-and-do, factual… There just isn’t anything like it anymore.

This one is from the Nature Book series 536. It’s Birds of Prey illustrated by John Leigh-Pemberton first published in 1970. By 1970 there were over 350 Ladybird titles, and at the time they cost 18p each.

Ladybird Birds of Prey book cover

Ladybird Birds of Prey cover

This is the entry about red kites. It’s interesting to see that at the time they were extremely rare. And thankfully now we can see them coming back across the UK.

Ladybird book red kite entry

Ladybird book red kite

Finally for now, the short-eared owl. It hunts during the day – but even so I’ve never seen one!

Ladybird book short-eared owl entry

Ladybird book short-eared owl


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