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The Call Of England by H. V. Morton
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The Call Of England (edition 1939)

by H. V. Morton

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541483,973 (4.25)2
Member:janandallan
Title:The Call Of England
Authors:H. V. Morton
Info:Kessinger Publishing, LLC (2007), Paperback, 276 pages
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The Call of England by H. V. Morton

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After the incredible success of his ”In Search of England” (currently in its 40th reprinting) Morton reappraised several of his trips, adding towns, regions and previously un-offered views of his traveling. He crafted several similar works based on London. This one is was the first of a new series from the author and was followed by his ”In the Steps of ..” books and then the “Traveler in ..” and the equally frequently re-published “Stranger in…” series.
Regular Morton readers would smile at his introduction where he admits the strongest criticisms that were made of his ”In search of England” that it was portraying a purely bucolic Nation. The “Call” then addresses this, by repeating the tour but by concentrating on the modern and industrial towns and regions he had by-passed in his previous books.

Morton appears to have warm feelings for everyone he met and an apparently sincere appreciation of the sheer hard work and hard skills he finds in the smoky industrial gloom. He makes a strong point that the English manufacturing centres he visits offer, with little exception, quick and ready access to areas of wild beauty “… as breathtaking as any in the wealds and downs of the South” I wonder and doubt if that is still the case.
His usual and extensive historical knowledge is displayed for our education and, no doubt, admiration. If the locals he meets and describes in emphatic detail lack the necessary knowledge or curiosity he needs to make his point, he falls back on a common artifice that he always deployed … the admiring, gawking and innocent American visitor to explain it all too!

One thing struck me with this work! It has more exclamation points per sentence than any other work I have ever read! In fact some of them are even inside the brackets! (!)

It jarred, but nothing can detract from the sheer enjoyment of Morton’s prose as it flows (!)
  John_Vaughan | Dec 5, 2011 |
When Morton hears ‘the call of England’, or decides to go ‘in search of England’, his starting point is London. Setting off with belief that England is available to his gaze, and that ‘England is one of the easiest countries to see’, he leaves behind the problematic capital city, which ‘no living man has seen’ because it has ‘ceased to be visible since Stuart days’.
 
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