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Response to Review of Storied Ground: Landscape and the Shaping of English National Identity

I am most grateful to Professor Winchester for his very full and kind review of my book. I did think about including a chapter on the rural idyll of the English ‘south country’, but in the end decided against it. Perhaps this was a mistake. In defence of my decision, I would plead that some discussion of this idyll – or versions of it – is included in the chapters on the New Forest and the Thames, particularly the latter. I admit that my treatment is rather glancing: a chapter specifically on the Cotswolds might have built usefully on Catherine Brace’s insightful work on that landscape, for example. But my overall aim, I suppose, was to go beyond the caricature ‘chocolate box’ image of Englishness, much relied upon in existing scholarship, to show that other versions of national identity were at least as important.