Ever since my trip to London this past September I’ve been dreaming of living in England someday. Alfred off the leash in Hyde Park, afternoon tea at The Wolseley, Sunday drives in the countryside visiting the National Trust estates…a girl can dream. Until then I’ll just have to cozy up with this reading list–books for lovers all things British:
Row One: The Anglo Files: A Field Guide to the British – Sarah’s witty observations of British culture kept me smiling from start to finish… // London: Portrait of a City – a lovely series by Taschen… // Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle… for my fellow Downton fans…
Row Two: Sense & Sensibility – I spotted these “Vintage Classic” editions at the Victoria & Albert Museum gift shop and have been coveting a set ever since… // Notes from a Small Island – Bill Bryson is a travel writing legend and his observations of the English are no exception to his greatness… // English Decoration: Timeless Inspiration for the Contemporary Home – there’s a reason why Kate chose Ben Pentreath to decorate Kensington Palace. I wish I could live in the pages of this book…
Row Three: Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch – everything you ever wanted to know about Her Majesty… // Taschen’s London: Hotels, Restaurants, Shops – for the discerning traveler… // This is London – I was so thrilled when they began reprinting these classics. A must-have bedtime story for every mini Anglophile.
Any great reads I’ve missed? I’d love to hear!
Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita says
Well, I do have 4 of these, and some of the others look great too! Good picks Katie!
Jade Sheldon-Burnsed says
My husband and I dream of making the move to London too. He is finishing up his MBA and is already working for a company that has an office in London! It’s crazy to think this dream of ours is in our grasp…
I love London – we go every summer and just enjoy exploring new areas each time! I would love to experience living there even for just a few months!
These are such great choices, Katie! I am finally fulfilling my dream of moving to London this fall after I finish law school, and I have been devouring books about my future home. Notes from a Small Island and The Anglo Files are two of my very favorites! I also loved Londoners by Craig Taylor, which is a beautiful collection of personal essays from the widest variety of Londoners, from natives to new immigrants, living in every part of the city and with a variety of professions. If you aren’t put off by something more dense, I would highly recommend London: The Biography by Peter Ackroyd (an intensely readable history of the city) and Kate Fox’s Watching the English (a sort of anthropological guide to the British from the viewpoint of a Brit who spent a lot of her life abroad, written with great humor).
You and Alfred would fit in so well in London! I hope you get the chance to spend some time there someday. Until then, Chicago is a pretty great place to be heading–that’s where I live now!
Dirk De Buyst says
Another must-read, together with Bill Bryson’s “Notes from a small island”, is “Watching the English” from Kate Fox.
Katie Armour Taylor says
Dirk – Thanks for weighing in! Excellent suggestions. I own them both! Big fan.
Notes From A Small Island had me in stitches! Almost everything Bill Bryson writes is excellent and funny.
Katie Armour Taylor says
Marge – Agreed! He is hysterical!