There is a common fallacy held by a great many people – that England used to be great, is currently in decline, and will be the sole property of the dogs in the near future. This is, of course, bollocks. What people really mean is their world was better because they were young. Last week I found a book that put this suspicion beyond reasonable doubt.
The back cover describes it as follows:
A pilgrimage through yesterday, through the England that used to be, with its flowers and fields and trees and birds, with its Legends, Stories and Fables, its quaint customs and folk-lore.
I flew through it, and it’s a charming book. If you think I’m in the business of ripping the piss out of Horace and his meandering, nostalgic prose, you’d be wrong. The pertinent detail about this ode to yesteryear is its publication date – 1937.