Notes from A Small Island
In 1995, before leaving his much-loved home in North Yorkshire to move back to the States for a few years with his family, Bill Bryson insisted on taking one last trip around Britain, a sort of valedictory tour of the green and kindly island that had so long been his home. His aim was to take stock of the nation's public face and private parts (as it were), and to analyse what precisely it was he loved so much about a country that had produced Marmite; a military hero whose dying wish was to be kissed by a fellow named Hardy; place names like Farleigh Wallop, Titsey and Shellow Bowells; people who said 'Mustn't grumble', and 'Ooh lovely' at the sight of a cup of tea and a plate of biscuits; and Gardeners' Question Time. Notes from a Small Island was a huge number-one bestseller when it was first published, and has become the nation's most loved book about Britain, going on to sell over two million copies.
Bill Bryson's hilarious tour of his adopted country: the book that was voted the nation's favourite book on modern Britain in a World Book Day BBC poll.
"Not a book that should be read in public, for fear of emitting loud snorts" The Times "Laugh-out-loud funny" The Good Book Guide "Splendid... What's enjoyable is that there's as much of Bryson in here as there is of Britain" Sunday Telegraph "Bryson is funny because he is not afraid to give completely of himself" Daily Express "Astute and funny...a tribute to [Britain's] enchantments by an unabashed anglophile." New York Times
Bill Bryson's bestselling travel books include The Lost Continent, Neither Here Nor There and Notes from a Small Island, which in a national poll was voted the book that best represents Britain. His acclaimed book on the history of science, A Short History of Nearly Everything, won the Royal Society's Aventis Prize as well as the Descartes Prize, the European Union's highest literary award. Bryson has written books on language, on Shakespeare, and on his own childhood in the hilarious memoir The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. His last critically lauded bestsellers were on history - At Home: a Short History of Private Life, and One Summer: America 1927. Another travel book, A Walk in the Woods, has now become a major film starring Robert Redford, Nick Nolte and Emma Thompson. Bryson's new book, The Road to Little Dribbling: More Notes from a Small Island comes out in Autumn 2015. Bill Bryson was born in the American Mid-West, and is now living back in the UK. A former Chancellor of Durham University, he was President of Campaign to Protect Rural England for five years, and is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society.