This book by Oliver Tearle is so engaging to me, I told my wife that I did not want it to end.

‘Britain By The Book’ A Curious Tour of Our Literary Landscape is emblazoned on the cover, and it most certainly is that. I really enjoyed every page. Written by Oliver Tearle, a lecturer in English at Loughborough University, he is well versed in writing already, and, one suspects, very well informed on the history of our literal nation.

It begins at the top, John O’Groats, but already we are then informed that this is not the most Northerly point of the British Isles, and so it goes on, with little vignettes of interest to please even the most jaded of interests that can surprise the unwary traveller. I learnt a great deal from reading this book, gleaning a wealth of ‘Trivial Pursuit’ answers as I virtually traverse the British Isles. The reader, after ingesting the more startling facts contained, could easily pass as a high-level scholar in an unsuspecting crowd.

It is certainly a book to set things straight, dispelling rumours, and maybe setting a few more up at the same time. This engenders a feeling that I want to explore things for myself as I traverse the country. At the same time, it introduces the reader to other books worth their time perusing.

Yes, the pages are littered with different, intriguing, pleasant examples of literary knowledge, and I for one, loved every bit of the book. Perfect for holiday reading, or just casual readership. I will certainly seek out, and read more by this author.

Reviewed by Reg Seward

Published in 2017 by John Murray,
hardback, ISBN 978-1473666016