TO BE IN ENGLAND by Richard D. Altick


Email this review


The author of Lives and Letters (1965) which was a distinguished critique, takes a frankly sentimental tour of England, casual in itinerary, delightfully biased in focus. Not for the tourist ""doing"" England--by Cooks or on the cheap--this is more of a ramble for those brought up on the greats of English literature and who have an a priori Anglophile bent. Professor Altick wanders comfortably enough around London and the towns and villages (he is not one for knapsack and thermos) visiting literary landmarks of varying degrees of pertinence and value. Stratford is not all that bad (swans, river and all) but one should have a machete to cut through to the Rossettis' last resting place. Plaque-perusal, Thames-tracing, drives and walks are handsomely studded with literary and personal anecdote, always leisurely and unpretentious. Altick mentions in passing favorite inns, methods of transportation, language pitfalls, but these are incidental to his record of affinities--and bumptious asides (the British dress is generally dreadful). A pleasant appreciation to read while recollecting or anticipating.

Pub Date: June 17th, 1969
Publisher: Norton