|About the Book|
Essential Essex is a glorious mix of historic and contemporary tales from one of the most colourful and diverse counties in England. Essex is best described as a parallelogram of contrasts, from the industrial south-east border with London to theMoreEssential Essex is a glorious mix of historic and contemporary tales from one of the most colourful and diverse counties in England. Essex is best described as a parallelogram of contrasts, from the industrial south-east border with London to the agricultural north, and the wild and often treacherous coastline along its eastern encounter with the North Sea. Pevsner wrote that the Essex variety of character ‘must be given precedence over many larger counties’, and so it must. It was here that Julius Caesar founded his capital, Camulodunum (Colchester), in the first century AD. Half a century later William the Conqueror ruled his new domain from Barking Abbey andin the 16th century at Tilbury, Elizabeth I rallied her troops as they awaited the Spanish Armada.Along with a plethora of fascinating facts and figures, customs and curiosities, meet an 18th century parson’s wife who eloped with an Earl’s son (both ‘husbands’ attended her funeral), an Ongar man who sold his wife to the highest bidder, and a husband who stayed silent for 7 years in penance for wrongfully accusing his wife of adultery. Discover a trinity of distinguished writers, Margery Allingham, Dodie Smith and Dorothy L. Sayers, and find out how the Essex estuaries were made famous by Charles Dickens and Arthur Ransome. Find out why the oystermen are partial to gin and gingerbread, which is the longest pier in the world, and whether the 7th century ‘King of Bling’ was really an Essex man?What is the story behind the Great Russian Myth, which had the population of Colchester agog in 1914, and why is the nickname Essex Calf given to impetuous boys? Find out why the Red Hills along the River Colne are so named, when the Great Essex Road became the A12, and which church has the only pet tortoise commemorated in stained glass.Essential Essex has something for everyone with a connection to this fascinating corner of England.