Excellent Essex: In Praise of England’s Most Misunderstood County – Gillian Darley




Welcome to Essex: The county everyone’s heard of; the place few of us know!

Gillian Darley takes us on a vivid, personal tour, from the seaside piers to the empty marshes and the New Town tower blocks, revealing a landscape and a story like no other.

Alongside Essex Man and TOWIE, there’s the Essex that nurtured the first Puritan settlers in America, welcomed refugees from Europe, fugitives from the underworld and bombed-out EastEnders. Where dreamers and makers, punk poets, anarchist sects and inventors all found inspiration.

A Colchester nurseryman was the first to trade with a secretive Eastern Kingdom. Braintree’s only earthquake inspired an innovative building system. In Epping, a spat over firewood led to an historic victory for the common people. In Essex, the clash between city and countryside, capital and province, created a shower of sparks that ultimately set the world on fire.

Drawing on everything from early maps to reality TV, Excellent Essex is no guide book, but a wonderful guide to England’s most misunderstood county.

Paperback 336 pages

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