Clive Aslet, editor of Country Life, lived in Pimlico, London SW1 until January 2000. Then he bought a small cottage in the country near where his horse was stabled at Naseby. This is what happened.
Naseby is the site of the great battle that is supposed to have ended the English Civil War. It’s also typical of a certain type of particularly English countryside: rolling green fields, farmland good and bad, copses of ancient woodland and an ugly dual carriageway. Naseby is also the site of a modern civil war, between country folk born and bred and steeped in the ways of country living, and newly demobbed urbanites in search of, well, of what exactly? Clive Aslet went determined to find out and recorded the results of his year in the country: a delightful blend of local anecdote, historic discovery, character and incident, set against England’s unfolding drama of the countryside: what it is, who is to enjoy it, what it can and should tolerate. One man and his horse in a charming and acutely observed comedy of rural manners: these are Clive Aslet’s rural rides among England’s truculent, turbulent countryfolk.
Reviews of A Horse in the Country: Diary of a Year in the Heart of England
- ‘“A Horse in the Country” offers a genuine social record, sensitively observed, of a village in the process of change – its farming past eroded, its pub under threat, its teenagers bored and drunk. The endless round of fairs and flower shows, all delightfully reported by Aslet, is, as he remarks, partly a way of asserting a fragile identity.’ Caroline Moore, Sunday Telegraph
- ‘Delightful vignettes of modern country life…Aslet is an excellent diarist – observant, witty and painfully honest, not least about his own low motives for the life-changing move.’ Daily Telegraph