The English Village

Melford 3Nicola here. Today I am musing about life in the English village. So many of the historical romances I’ve read are set it cities such as London or Bath, or smaller towns like Brighton or Cheltenham. This makes sense. These places were the epicentres of activity in the Regency era, the venue for balls and other social events, a place where people might go for their health, for sea bathing or to take the spa waters. They were a good hunting ground for ladies looking to secure a titled husband, or for men seeking an heiress. It feels as though all the excitement is focussed on the towns and cities where there are lots of new people to meet and lots of things going on. After all, as Jane Austen wrote in Northanger Abbey: “If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.” 

In some ways, things haven’t changed much in two hundred years. When I was younger I lived in a number of different English cities: Leeds, London, Leicester. They were vibrant places with a mix of cultures and events that was very stimulating. Even today a trip to London, or Edinburgh, or Oxford is something of a treat. The combination of history and shopping is irresistible and much more exciting that what is on offer at home. So where does that leave the English village?

By the time of the Regency period, the village was somewhere the well-heeled would have a country estate. They would spend the Kingston Lisle Season in Town and go to their country house in the summer. Whilst the Big House might be a reasonable distance from the workers’ cottages – and in some cases a landowner would even move a village to improve their view –  the two things, house and village, were inter-dependent.  The local village near where I live is a good example. There is a manor house in the centre of the village and a hundred yards away, the church. The other big house in the village, the vicarage, also belonged to the lord of the manor, who gave it to the vicar as part of the living.

Then there was the Home Farm. It was located near the manor and provided produce for the house and for the village. Around the outskirts of the village, various other farms were dotted about too, and servicing the manor, various industries built up. In the 19th century around here there were three wheelwrights, three millers, four carpenters and several blacksmiths and farriers. The shops in the village included two grocers, a baker and several more specialised trades including haberdasher and a shoemaker.

Rose and CrownThe population of the village also included a number of people who worked in service at Ashdown House, including various maids and footmen who would live out and walk into work each day. More exotically, according to the estate papers, there was also the falconer and the person who looked after Lord Craven’s dogs. Then, of course there was Thomas Neate, innkeeper and brewer. The 18th century was a good time for our local inn because roads were being improved, leading to more travellers and more business. Coaches became more comfortable and inns needed to provide stabling for horses and good quality accommodation and food for visitors. Coaches, wagons, carts and gigs would travel along the Portway, the ancient Roman road that runs through the village, and over the Berkshire Downs, taking produce to and from markets and people journeying between towns. The Rose and Crown, our local pub, was also important to the Craven family who recognised the need for a local inn to provide for their estate workers. If you look at the left hand side of the building in hte photograph you can see the arched window that was once the entrance to the stable yard.

As an alternative to a city or town, the village has obvious benefits as a setting for a story. It has a community that reflects the Ross and Dwightvarious different professions and levels of society. There is the potential for cross-class attraction to the blacksmith or the innkeeper, male or female.There are the aristocrats or the rich gentry at the manor (Oh, the excitement when Mr Bingley comes to Netherfield in Pride and Prejudice!) and their visitors (Mr Darcy!) There are other houses belonging to the lesser gentry, the widows (who might not be old) and the professional classes. Poldark has plenty of cross-class attraction, Ross and Demelza, George the self-made man, and Elizabeth and my favourite romance in that series, Dr Enys and Caroline Penvenan. The doctor is a gentleman by birth but he has no money and isn't seen as good enough for an heiress. Plus he works for a living amongst the poor. If he were a rich doctor in Bath or London, matters might have been different.

I love writing about villages and both my Brides of Fortune and Midwinter series are set in village society. As today, there is scope for various local societies and activities. The ladies of the Midwinter villages belonged to a reading group and created a charity calendar featuring the local Regency gentlemen. Fortune’s Folly was a spa village with a mix of old titles, new wealth and lots of intrigue. It may not be Bath or London but it has a complex social hierarchy all of its own.

Midsomer village hall It's not only romantic novels that thrive on a village or small town setting. Is it any wonder that so many crime novels are set in English villages? Sherlock Holmes commented: “The lowest and vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful record of sin than does the smiling and beautiful countryside." Author Anthony Horowitz agrees: “English villages are places of hatred, mistrust and bitterness. I love the fact that in a village everybody is hiding something and people are far more curious about what is going on behind their net curtains." This seems a bit extreme, but perhaps it is the fact that villages are such a mix of different personalities living in close proximity that is the key to their attraction for writers in any genre. I’ve lived in villages for almost thirty years (one was called Midsomer Norton!) and I’ve certainly had some mind-boggling experiences and whilst I would deny that we’re all hiding something in our village, and we certainly don’t have a crime wave to rival that of Midsomer Murders, there’s no doubt that the mix of people and the fact we are all living more in each other’s pockets than we might in a city makes for some interesting times. The more positive side of village life is that it is friendly and there is a sense of community and support. Perhaps it is also that that draws those of us who like uplifting stories and happy endings to stories set in a village.


Confessions of a duchessDo you enjoy stories set in villages or small towns, either historical or contemporary, romance or crime, and if so, why are they appealing? Do you have a favourite cast of characters or plot? Or perhaps you don't like them, finding the village scene too claustrophobic? 
I’m giving away a copy of Confessions of a Duchess, my first Brides of Fortune book, to one commenter between now and midnight Thursday.

170 thoughts on “The English Village”

  1. Yes, I enjoy novels set in a small town. I always find the characters fascinating and how they interplay within the bounds of village. Yes, there are certainly downsides to a small village, such as youthful indiscretions that are never forgotten. But on the whole the community feeling is attractive to a city girl. Nowadays we have to find our own community. Many people find a community in a charitable working group, like Habitat for Humanity, or a church, or a hobby club. We all need a smaller group to help us find our identity and feel a part of somthing parger than ourselves.

    Reply
  2. Yes, I enjoy novels set in a small town. I always find the characters fascinating and how they interplay within the bounds of village. Yes, there are certainly downsides to a small village, such as youthful indiscretions that are never forgotten. But on the whole the community feeling is attractive to a city girl. Nowadays we have to find our own community. Many people find a community in a charitable working group, like Habitat for Humanity, or a church, or a hobby club. We all need a smaller group to help us find our identity and feel a part of somthing parger than ourselves.

    Reply
  3. Yes, I enjoy novels set in a small town. I always find the characters fascinating and how they interplay within the bounds of village. Yes, there are certainly downsides to a small village, such as youthful indiscretions that are never forgotten. But on the whole the community feeling is attractive to a city girl. Nowadays we have to find our own community. Many people find a community in a charitable working group, like Habitat for Humanity, or a church, or a hobby club. We all need a smaller group to help us find our identity and feel a part of somthing parger than ourselves.

    Reply
  4. Yes, I enjoy novels set in a small town. I always find the characters fascinating and how they interplay within the bounds of village. Yes, there are certainly downsides to a small village, such as youthful indiscretions that are never forgotten. But on the whole the community feeling is attractive to a city girl. Nowadays we have to find our own community. Many people find a community in a charitable working group, like Habitat for Humanity, or a church, or a hobby club. We all need a smaller group to help us find our identity and feel a part of somthing parger than ourselves.

    Reply
  5. Yes, I enjoy novels set in a small town. I always find the characters fascinating and how they interplay within the bounds of village. Yes, there are certainly downsides to a small village, such as youthful indiscretions that are never forgotten. But on the whole the community feeling is attractive to a city girl. Nowadays we have to find our own community. Many people find a community in a charitable working group, like Habitat for Humanity, or a church, or a hobby club. We all need a smaller group to help us find our identity and feel a part of somthing parger than ourselves.

    Reply
  6. I love your stories set in villages! I love that you wrote about this topic!
    I think, having lived in both villages and cities, I prefer the setting of a village because of the dynamics that I find easier to relate to, like the tacit awareness of everyone. And that sense of community. Whereas in a lot of cities, people seem happy to ignore most everyone but their inner circle of comfortable association.
    I find also that it suspends my disbelief more to find people forced to interact with each other in the confines of a small town more likely to find love with each other than the outside world. Of course it is always a choice to interact, but in a village or small town it is simply rude to ignore people. In the city, it seems to be socially acceptable to a degree in a lot of situations.
    I am so looking forward to your upcoming book!

    Reply
  7. I love your stories set in villages! I love that you wrote about this topic!
    I think, having lived in both villages and cities, I prefer the setting of a village because of the dynamics that I find easier to relate to, like the tacit awareness of everyone. And that sense of community. Whereas in a lot of cities, people seem happy to ignore most everyone but their inner circle of comfortable association.
    I find also that it suspends my disbelief more to find people forced to interact with each other in the confines of a small town more likely to find love with each other than the outside world. Of course it is always a choice to interact, but in a village or small town it is simply rude to ignore people. In the city, it seems to be socially acceptable to a degree in a lot of situations.
    I am so looking forward to your upcoming book!

    Reply
  8. I love your stories set in villages! I love that you wrote about this topic!
    I think, having lived in both villages and cities, I prefer the setting of a village because of the dynamics that I find easier to relate to, like the tacit awareness of everyone. And that sense of community. Whereas in a lot of cities, people seem happy to ignore most everyone but their inner circle of comfortable association.
    I find also that it suspends my disbelief more to find people forced to interact with each other in the confines of a small town more likely to find love with each other than the outside world. Of course it is always a choice to interact, but in a village or small town it is simply rude to ignore people. In the city, it seems to be socially acceptable to a degree in a lot of situations.
    I am so looking forward to your upcoming book!

    Reply
  9. I love your stories set in villages! I love that you wrote about this topic!
    I think, having lived in both villages and cities, I prefer the setting of a village because of the dynamics that I find easier to relate to, like the tacit awareness of everyone. And that sense of community. Whereas in a lot of cities, people seem happy to ignore most everyone but their inner circle of comfortable association.
    I find also that it suspends my disbelief more to find people forced to interact with each other in the confines of a small town more likely to find love with each other than the outside world. Of course it is always a choice to interact, but in a village or small town it is simply rude to ignore people. In the city, it seems to be socially acceptable to a degree in a lot of situations.
    I am so looking forward to your upcoming book!

    Reply
  10. I love your stories set in villages! I love that you wrote about this topic!
    I think, having lived in both villages and cities, I prefer the setting of a village because of the dynamics that I find easier to relate to, like the tacit awareness of everyone. And that sense of community. Whereas in a lot of cities, people seem happy to ignore most everyone but their inner circle of comfortable association.
    I find also that it suspends my disbelief more to find people forced to interact with each other in the confines of a small town more likely to find love with each other than the outside world. Of course it is always a choice to interact, but in a village or small town it is simply rude to ignore people. In the city, it seems to be socially acceptable to a degree in a lot of situations.
    I am so looking forward to your upcoming book!

    Reply
  11. Having lived in large cities and small towns, I like stories set in either place. I think in historical novels set in an English village, the readers get to see a stronger sense of community. It seems to provide the heroine and hero a cushion of people who provide comfort and support. Of course there is generally at least one or two people who are jealous or resentful of someone else’s happiness, but hey that gives a sense of reality.

    Reply
  12. Having lived in large cities and small towns, I like stories set in either place. I think in historical novels set in an English village, the readers get to see a stronger sense of community. It seems to provide the heroine and hero a cushion of people who provide comfort and support. Of course there is generally at least one or two people who are jealous or resentful of someone else’s happiness, but hey that gives a sense of reality.

    Reply
  13. Having lived in large cities and small towns, I like stories set in either place. I think in historical novels set in an English village, the readers get to see a stronger sense of community. It seems to provide the heroine and hero a cushion of people who provide comfort and support. Of course there is generally at least one or two people who are jealous or resentful of someone else’s happiness, but hey that gives a sense of reality.

    Reply
  14. Having lived in large cities and small towns, I like stories set in either place. I think in historical novels set in an English village, the readers get to see a stronger sense of community. It seems to provide the heroine and hero a cushion of people who provide comfort and support. Of course there is generally at least one or two people who are jealous or resentful of someone else’s happiness, but hey that gives a sense of reality.

    Reply
  15. Having lived in large cities and small towns, I like stories set in either place. I think in historical novels set in an English village, the readers get to see a stronger sense of community. It seems to provide the heroine and hero a cushion of people who provide comfort and support. Of course there is generally at least one or two people who are jealous or resentful of someone else’s happiness, but hey that gives a sense of reality.

    Reply
  16. That is very true about youthful indiscretions, Kathy. There are some elderly people here whose escapades in their youth have never been forgotten! That can be a bit trying and I can see why people might want to escape that sort of scrutiny and live in a city where there is less nosiness! I also agree that a sense of community can be found anywhere if people have a will to do so, which is lovely.

    Reply
  17. That is very true about youthful indiscretions, Kathy. There are some elderly people here whose escapades in their youth have never been forgotten! That can be a bit trying and I can see why people might want to escape that sort of scrutiny and live in a city where there is less nosiness! I also agree that a sense of community can be found anywhere if people have a will to do so, which is lovely.

    Reply
  18. That is very true about youthful indiscretions, Kathy. There are some elderly people here whose escapades in their youth have never been forgotten! That can be a bit trying and I can see why people might want to escape that sort of scrutiny and live in a city where there is less nosiness! I also agree that a sense of community can be found anywhere if people have a will to do so, which is lovely.

    Reply
  19. That is very true about youthful indiscretions, Kathy. There are some elderly people here whose escapades in their youth have never been forgotten! That can be a bit trying and I can see why people might want to escape that sort of scrutiny and live in a city where there is less nosiness! I also agree that a sense of community can be found anywhere if people have a will to do so, which is lovely.

    Reply
  20. That is very true about youthful indiscretions, Kathy. There are some elderly people here whose escapades in their youth have never been forgotten! That can be a bit trying and I can see why people might want to escape that sort of scrutiny and live in a city where there is less nosiness! I also agree that a sense of community can be found anywhere if people have a will to do so, which is lovely.

    Reply
  21. Thank you so much, Tai! I do think that it easier to get lost amidst the bustle of a city although I know people say you can be lonely anywhere. I also relate better to the dynamics of a village or town, but do find cities exciting! These days when I go up to London I am very like the wide-eyed country cousin!

    Reply
  22. Thank you so much, Tai! I do think that it easier to get lost amidst the bustle of a city although I know people say you can be lonely anywhere. I also relate better to the dynamics of a village or town, but do find cities exciting! These days when I go up to London I am very like the wide-eyed country cousin!

    Reply
  23. Thank you so much, Tai! I do think that it easier to get lost amidst the bustle of a city although I know people say you can be lonely anywhere. I also relate better to the dynamics of a village or town, but do find cities exciting! These days when I go up to London I am very like the wide-eyed country cousin!

    Reply
  24. Thank you so much, Tai! I do think that it easier to get lost amidst the bustle of a city although I know people say you can be lonely anywhere. I also relate better to the dynamics of a village or town, but do find cities exciting! These days when I go up to London I am very like the wide-eyed country cousin!

    Reply
  25. Thank you so much, Tai! I do think that it easier to get lost amidst the bustle of a city although I know people say you can be lonely anywhere. I also relate better to the dynamics of a village or town, but do find cities exciting! These days when I go up to London I am very like the wide-eyed country cousin!

    Reply
  26. I’ve never thought much about this. Having lived in both small towns and big cities, I find they both have their advantages and disadvantages. I cannot actually say that I prefer one over the other, but the locale of the story does add color and depth to it.
    The book I’m reading right now (The Renegade Wife by Caroline Warfield) starts out in Canada, has moved to Bristol, and now London. But I’m not even half way through the book, so I don’t know where it will end up (smile).
    I found the portion about upper Canada very interesting though. I ashamed to say that even though it is our next door neighbor to the north, I really don’t know much about Canada.
    Interesting post!

    Reply
  27. I’ve never thought much about this. Having lived in both small towns and big cities, I find they both have their advantages and disadvantages. I cannot actually say that I prefer one over the other, but the locale of the story does add color and depth to it.
    The book I’m reading right now (The Renegade Wife by Caroline Warfield) starts out in Canada, has moved to Bristol, and now London. But I’m not even half way through the book, so I don’t know where it will end up (smile).
    I found the portion about upper Canada very interesting though. I ashamed to say that even though it is our next door neighbor to the north, I really don’t know much about Canada.
    Interesting post!

    Reply
  28. I’ve never thought much about this. Having lived in both small towns and big cities, I find they both have their advantages and disadvantages. I cannot actually say that I prefer one over the other, but the locale of the story does add color and depth to it.
    The book I’m reading right now (The Renegade Wife by Caroline Warfield) starts out in Canada, has moved to Bristol, and now London. But I’m not even half way through the book, so I don’t know where it will end up (smile).
    I found the portion about upper Canada very interesting though. I ashamed to say that even though it is our next door neighbor to the north, I really don’t know much about Canada.
    Interesting post!

    Reply
  29. I’ve never thought much about this. Having lived in both small towns and big cities, I find they both have their advantages and disadvantages. I cannot actually say that I prefer one over the other, but the locale of the story does add color and depth to it.
    The book I’m reading right now (The Renegade Wife by Caroline Warfield) starts out in Canada, has moved to Bristol, and now London. But I’m not even half way through the book, so I don’t know where it will end up (smile).
    I found the portion about upper Canada very interesting though. I ashamed to say that even though it is our next door neighbor to the north, I really don’t know much about Canada.
    Interesting post!

    Reply
  30. I’ve never thought much about this. Having lived in both small towns and big cities, I find they both have their advantages and disadvantages. I cannot actually say that I prefer one over the other, but the locale of the story does add color and depth to it.
    The book I’m reading right now (The Renegade Wife by Caroline Warfield) starts out in Canada, has moved to Bristol, and now London. But I’m not even half way through the book, so I don’t know where it will end up (smile).
    I found the portion about upper Canada very interesting though. I ashamed to say that even though it is our next door neighbor to the north, I really don’t know much about Canada.
    Interesting post!

    Reply
  31. Like many others, I have lived in cities and smaller areas. (The community where I grew up was technically in St. Louis, but was separated from the city proper by truck farms, so it hat much of the flavor of a village. I also knew well the small Indiana farm support town where my father grew up.
    As to what I prefer in a book; I like either setting equally well. As long as the people are well realized, the plot is “realistic”, and the entire work integrated, I feel at home with the book.

    Reply
  32. Like many others, I have lived in cities and smaller areas. (The community where I grew up was technically in St. Louis, but was separated from the city proper by truck farms, so it hat much of the flavor of a village. I also knew well the small Indiana farm support town where my father grew up.
    As to what I prefer in a book; I like either setting equally well. As long as the people are well realized, the plot is “realistic”, and the entire work integrated, I feel at home with the book.

    Reply
  33. Like many others, I have lived in cities and smaller areas. (The community where I grew up was technically in St. Louis, but was separated from the city proper by truck farms, so it hat much of the flavor of a village. I also knew well the small Indiana farm support town where my father grew up.
    As to what I prefer in a book; I like either setting equally well. As long as the people are well realized, the plot is “realistic”, and the entire work integrated, I feel at home with the book.

    Reply
  34. Like many others, I have lived in cities and smaller areas. (The community where I grew up was technically in St. Louis, but was separated from the city proper by truck farms, so it hat much of the flavor of a village. I also knew well the small Indiana farm support town where my father grew up.
    As to what I prefer in a book; I like either setting equally well. As long as the people are well realized, the plot is “realistic”, and the entire work integrated, I feel at home with the book.

    Reply
  35. Like many others, I have lived in cities and smaller areas. (The community where I grew up was technically in St. Louis, but was separated from the city proper by truck farms, so it hat much of the flavor of a village. I also knew well the small Indiana farm support town where my father grew up.
    As to what I prefer in a book; I like either setting equally well. As long as the people are well realized, the plot is “realistic”, and the entire work integrated, I feel at home with the book.

    Reply
  36. What a lovely post, Nicola! I adore novels set in country villages. In fact, I’ve just written one set in a village in the Cotswolds which was a lot of fun. I am not a huge fan of having anyone sticking their noses in my business but by the same token, I sometimes think it’s a bit sad that I scarcely know most of my neighbours. Btw my favourite name for an English village is Ashby-de-la-Zouche (if that’s how you spell it!)

    Reply
  37. What a lovely post, Nicola! I adore novels set in country villages. In fact, I’ve just written one set in a village in the Cotswolds which was a lot of fun. I am not a huge fan of having anyone sticking their noses in my business but by the same token, I sometimes think it’s a bit sad that I scarcely know most of my neighbours. Btw my favourite name for an English village is Ashby-de-la-Zouche (if that’s how you spell it!)

    Reply
  38. What a lovely post, Nicola! I adore novels set in country villages. In fact, I’ve just written one set in a village in the Cotswolds which was a lot of fun. I am not a huge fan of having anyone sticking their noses in my business but by the same token, I sometimes think it’s a bit sad that I scarcely know most of my neighbours. Btw my favourite name for an English village is Ashby-de-la-Zouche (if that’s how you spell it!)

    Reply
  39. What a lovely post, Nicola! I adore novels set in country villages. In fact, I’ve just written one set in a village in the Cotswolds which was a lot of fun. I am not a huge fan of having anyone sticking their noses in my business but by the same token, I sometimes think it’s a bit sad that I scarcely know most of my neighbours. Btw my favourite name for an English village is Ashby-de-la-Zouche (if that’s how you spell it!)

    Reply
  40. What a lovely post, Nicola! I adore novels set in country villages. In fact, I’ve just written one set in a village in the Cotswolds which was a lot of fun. I am not a huge fan of having anyone sticking their noses in my business but by the same token, I sometimes think it’s a bit sad that I scarcely know most of my neighbours. Btw my favourite name for an English village is Ashby-de-la-Zouche (if that’s how you spell it!)

    Reply
  41. I love villages as a setting! I love romance stories about them, mystery stories [Agatha Christie!!!], just general life happenings like in the James Harriott books!!
    Life, love and intrigue!!

    Reply
  42. I love villages as a setting! I love romance stories about them, mystery stories [Agatha Christie!!!], just general life happenings like in the James Harriott books!!
    Life, love and intrigue!!

    Reply
  43. I love villages as a setting! I love romance stories about them, mystery stories [Agatha Christie!!!], just general life happenings like in the James Harriott books!!
    Life, love and intrigue!!

    Reply
  44. I love villages as a setting! I love romance stories about them, mystery stories [Agatha Christie!!!], just general life happenings like in the James Harriott books!!
    Life, love and intrigue!!

    Reply
  45. I love villages as a setting! I love romance stories about them, mystery stories [Agatha Christie!!!], just general life happenings like in the James Harriott books!!
    Life, love and intrigue!!

    Reply
  46. Thank you, Mary, I’m so glad you found it interesting. I like the idea of book that, like people, visit a variety of different places, small or large, so that you get contrasting settings within ht story. I hadn’t thought about that before, so thank you for the idea!

    Reply
  47. Thank you, Mary, I’m so glad you found it interesting. I like the idea of book that, like people, visit a variety of different places, small or large, so that you get contrasting settings within ht story. I hadn’t thought about that before, so thank you for the idea!

    Reply
  48. Thank you, Mary, I’m so glad you found it interesting. I like the idea of book that, like people, visit a variety of different places, small or large, so that you get contrasting settings within ht story. I hadn’t thought about that before, so thank you for the idea!

    Reply
  49. Thank you, Mary, I’m so glad you found it interesting. I like the idea of book that, like people, visit a variety of different places, small or large, so that you get contrasting settings within ht story. I hadn’t thought about that before, so thank you for the idea!

    Reply
  50. Thank you, Mary, I’m so glad you found it interesting. I like the idea of book that, like people, visit a variety of different places, small or large, so that you get contrasting settings within ht story. I hadn’t thought about that before, so thank you for the idea!

    Reply
  51. Thanks, Sue! Yes, I agree, it all hangs on the characters and whether you care about them. You have an interesting background when it comes to “settings”! I didn’t know what “truck farms” were so looked it up and learned something new!

    Reply
  52. Thanks, Sue! Yes, I agree, it all hangs on the characters and whether you care about them. You have an interesting background when it comes to “settings”! I didn’t know what “truck farms” were so looked it up and learned something new!

    Reply
  53. Thanks, Sue! Yes, I agree, it all hangs on the characters and whether you care about them. You have an interesting background when it comes to “settings”! I didn’t know what “truck farms” were so looked it up and learned something new!

    Reply
  54. Thanks, Sue! Yes, I agree, it all hangs on the characters and whether you care about them. You have an interesting background when it comes to “settings”! I didn’t know what “truck farms” were so looked it up and learned something new!

    Reply
  55. Thanks, Sue! Yes, I agree, it all hangs on the characters and whether you care about them. You have an interesting background when it comes to “settings”! I didn’t know what “truck farms” were so looked it up and learned something new!

    Reply
  56. Hi Christine! I will look forward to your Cotswolds-set book. Interesting that like me, you enjoy the setting but don’t like the nosiness that can go with it! Yes, Ashby-de-la-Zouche is rather fun. We do have some great village names, no doubt about it!

    Reply
  57. Hi Christine! I will look forward to your Cotswolds-set book. Interesting that like me, you enjoy the setting but don’t like the nosiness that can go with it! Yes, Ashby-de-la-Zouche is rather fun. We do have some great village names, no doubt about it!

    Reply
  58. Hi Christine! I will look forward to your Cotswolds-set book. Interesting that like me, you enjoy the setting but don’t like the nosiness that can go with it! Yes, Ashby-de-la-Zouche is rather fun. We do have some great village names, no doubt about it!

    Reply
  59. Hi Christine! I will look forward to your Cotswolds-set book. Interesting that like me, you enjoy the setting but don’t like the nosiness that can go with it! Yes, Ashby-de-la-Zouche is rather fun. We do have some great village names, no doubt about it!

    Reply
  60. Hi Christine! I will look forward to your Cotswolds-set book. Interesting that like me, you enjoy the setting but don’t like the nosiness that can go with it! Yes, Ashby-de-la-Zouche is rather fun. We do have some great village names, no doubt about it!

    Reply
  61. I like stories set in villages or cities but villages do give a greater sense of community. I never have understood why a heroine running away to hide would choose a small village or an isolated spot were every stranger is noticed and spoken about in which to hide. Of course some sections of cities are more like villages.

    Reply
  62. I like stories set in villages or cities but villages do give a greater sense of community. I never have understood why a heroine running away to hide would choose a small village or an isolated spot were every stranger is noticed and spoken about in which to hide. Of course some sections of cities are more like villages.

    Reply
  63. I like stories set in villages or cities but villages do give a greater sense of community. I never have understood why a heroine running away to hide would choose a small village or an isolated spot were every stranger is noticed and spoken about in which to hide. Of course some sections of cities are more like villages.

    Reply
  64. I like stories set in villages or cities but villages do give a greater sense of community. I never have understood why a heroine running away to hide would choose a small village or an isolated spot were every stranger is noticed and spoken about in which to hide. Of course some sections of cities are more like villages.

    Reply
  65. I like stories set in villages or cities but villages do give a greater sense of community. I never have understood why a heroine running away to hide would choose a small village or an isolated spot were every stranger is noticed and spoken about in which to hide. Of course some sections of cities are more like villages.

    Reply
  66. I do think “Pride and Prejudice” is the quintessential village-set romance — and one need only say, “Meryton”, and millions of people around the world are immediately there in their imaginations. I, too, love the village setting for all kinds of genres — from Lark Rise and (“to”) Candleford, to Major Pettigrew’s last stand in Edgecombe St. Mary, to most cleverly named Howling in “Cold Comfort Farm”, up to Lochdubh, where an astounding number of murders per capita seem to occur. In romances, it seems we more often know the names of the grand houses or the estates, and the village is just referred to as “the village” — but even then, it often plays a key role in establishing our heroine’s place in society. Mary Balogh’s “Slightly Dangerous” is a good example, where widowed Christine Derrick teaches to make ends meet, living with her mother and unmarried sister, and villagers treat her with respect but also pity. One assumes that all changed once she became Wulf’s duchess! Thanks for the opportunity to think about all the villages I have known and loved — and hope to visit again!

    Reply
  67. I do think “Pride and Prejudice” is the quintessential village-set romance — and one need only say, “Meryton”, and millions of people around the world are immediately there in their imaginations. I, too, love the village setting for all kinds of genres — from Lark Rise and (“to”) Candleford, to Major Pettigrew’s last stand in Edgecombe St. Mary, to most cleverly named Howling in “Cold Comfort Farm”, up to Lochdubh, where an astounding number of murders per capita seem to occur. In romances, it seems we more often know the names of the grand houses or the estates, and the village is just referred to as “the village” — but even then, it often plays a key role in establishing our heroine’s place in society. Mary Balogh’s “Slightly Dangerous” is a good example, where widowed Christine Derrick teaches to make ends meet, living with her mother and unmarried sister, and villagers treat her with respect but also pity. One assumes that all changed once she became Wulf’s duchess! Thanks for the opportunity to think about all the villages I have known and loved — and hope to visit again!

    Reply
  68. I do think “Pride and Prejudice” is the quintessential village-set romance — and one need only say, “Meryton”, and millions of people around the world are immediately there in their imaginations. I, too, love the village setting for all kinds of genres — from Lark Rise and (“to”) Candleford, to Major Pettigrew’s last stand in Edgecombe St. Mary, to most cleverly named Howling in “Cold Comfort Farm”, up to Lochdubh, where an astounding number of murders per capita seem to occur. In romances, it seems we more often know the names of the grand houses or the estates, and the village is just referred to as “the village” — but even then, it often plays a key role in establishing our heroine’s place in society. Mary Balogh’s “Slightly Dangerous” is a good example, where widowed Christine Derrick teaches to make ends meet, living with her mother and unmarried sister, and villagers treat her with respect but also pity. One assumes that all changed once she became Wulf’s duchess! Thanks for the opportunity to think about all the villages I have known and loved — and hope to visit again!

    Reply
  69. I do think “Pride and Prejudice” is the quintessential village-set romance — and one need only say, “Meryton”, and millions of people around the world are immediately there in their imaginations. I, too, love the village setting for all kinds of genres — from Lark Rise and (“to”) Candleford, to Major Pettigrew’s last stand in Edgecombe St. Mary, to most cleverly named Howling in “Cold Comfort Farm”, up to Lochdubh, where an astounding number of murders per capita seem to occur. In romances, it seems we more often know the names of the grand houses or the estates, and the village is just referred to as “the village” — but even then, it often plays a key role in establishing our heroine’s place in society. Mary Balogh’s “Slightly Dangerous” is a good example, where widowed Christine Derrick teaches to make ends meet, living with her mother and unmarried sister, and villagers treat her with respect but also pity. One assumes that all changed once she became Wulf’s duchess! Thanks for the opportunity to think about all the villages I have known and loved — and hope to visit again!

    Reply
  70. I do think “Pride and Prejudice” is the quintessential village-set romance — and one need only say, “Meryton”, and millions of people around the world are immediately there in their imaginations. I, too, love the village setting for all kinds of genres — from Lark Rise and (“to”) Candleford, to Major Pettigrew’s last stand in Edgecombe St. Mary, to most cleverly named Howling in “Cold Comfort Farm”, up to Lochdubh, where an astounding number of murders per capita seem to occur. In romances, it seems we more often know the names of the grand houses or the estates, and the village is just referred to as “the village” — but even then, it often plays a key role in establishing our heroine’s place in society. Mary Balogh’s “Slightly Dangerous” is a good example, where widowed Christine Derrick teaches to make ends meet, living with her mother and unmarried sister, and villagers treat her with respect but also pity. One assumes that all changed once she became Wulf’s duchess! Thanks for the opportunity to think about all the villages I have known and loved — and hope to visit again!

    Reply
  71. I’m not sure it’s as true as it used to be, but once upon a time neighborhoods in cities were very much like villages, both in the way people looked out for each other and the way everybody minded everybody else’s business. Not wealthy neighborhoods, where space provided privacy, but middling and poorer neighborhoods, where you would recognize most of the people walking down the street.

    Reply
  72. I’m not sure it’s as true as it used to be, but once upon a time neighborhoods in cities were very much like villages, both in the way people looked out for each other and the way everybody minded everybody else’s business. Not wealthy neighborhoods, where space provided privacy, but middling and poorer neighborhoods, where you would recognize most of the people walking down the street.

    Reply
  73. I’m not sure it’s as true as it used to be, but once upon a time neighborhoods in cities were very much like villages, both in the way people looked out for each other and the way everybody minded everybody else’s business. Not wealthy neighborhoods, where space provided privacy, but middling and poorer neighborhoods, where you would recognize most of the people walking down the street.

    Reply
  74. I’m not sure it’s as true as it used to be, but once upon a time neighborhoods in cities were very much like villages, both in the way people looked out for each other and the way everybody minded everybody else’s business. Not wealthy neighborhoods, where space provided privacy, but middling and poorer neighborhoods, where you would recognize most of the people walking down the street.

    Reply
  75. I’m not sure it’s as true as it used to be, but once upon a time neighborhoods in cities were very much like villages, both in the way people looked out for each other and the way everybody minded everybody else’s business. Not wealthy neighborhoods, where space provided privacy, but middling and poorer neighborhoods, where you would recognize most of the people walking down the street.

    Reply
  76. That is a very well-observed point, Nancy. A stranger coming into a village is going to stand out like a sore thumb! There is a TV programme over here at the moment called Hunted where various people try to hide and are tracked down by the experts. it’s scary, but the most successful hide in cities where they are anonymous not small communities.

    Reply
  77. That is a very well-observed point, Nancy. A stranger coming into a village is going to stand out like a sore thumb! There is a TV programme over here at the moment called Hunted where various people try to hide and are tracked down by the experts. it’s scary, but the most successful hide in cities where they are anonymous not small communities.

    Reply
  78. That is a very well-observed point, Nancy. A stranger coming into a village is going to stand out like a sore thumb! There is a TV programme over here at the moment called Hunted where various people try to hide and are tracked down by the experts. it’s scary, but the most successful hide in cities where they are anonymous not small communities.

    Reply
  79. That is a very well-observed point, Nancy. A stranger coming into a village is going to stand out like a sore thumb! There is a TV programme over here at the moment called Hunted where various people try to hide and are tracked down by the experts. it’s scary, but the most successful hide in cities where they are anonymous not small communities.

    Reply
  80. That is a very well-observed point, Nancy. A stranger coming into a village is going to stand out like a sore thumb! There is a TV programme over here at the moment called Hunted where various people try to hide and are tracked down by the experts. it’s scary, but the most successful hide in cities where they are anonymous not small communities.

    Reply
  81. Oh, you have reminded me what a wonderful book Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand was, Constance. Thank you! I’d forgotten about “Howling” too. Most appropriate! Yes, the social niceties of villages are very well observed in Mary Balogh’s books and some others. delicious.

    Reply
  82. Oh, you have reminded me what a wonderful book Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand was, Constance. Thank you! I’d forgotten about “Howling” too. Most appropriate! Yes, the social niceties of villages are very well observed in Mary Balogh’s books and some others. delicious.

    Reply
  83. Oh, you have reminded me what a wonderful book Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand was, Constance. Thank you! I’d forgotten about “Howling” too. Most appropriate! Yes, the social niceties of villages are very well observed in Mary Balogh’s books and some others. delicious.

    Reply
  84. Oh, you have reminded me what a wonderful book Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand was, Constance. Thank you! I’d forgotten about “Howling” too. Most appropriate! Yes, the social niceties of villages are very well observed in Mary Balogh’s books and some others. delicious.

    Reply
  85. Oh, you have reminded me what a wonderful book Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand was, Constance. Thank you! I’d forgotten about “Howling” too. Most appropriate! Yes, the social niceties of villages are very well observed in Mary Balogh’s books and some others. delicious.

    Reply
  86. Hi Lillian! Yes, that is very true. When my grandparents were living in the poorer areas of northern cities in the first half of last century there was a strong sense of community. I do think that has broken down in the UK now, mainly because families now live so far apart and people are all very busy, but it was certainly a feature of my childhood.

    Reply
  87. Hi Lillian! Yes, that is very true. When my grandparents were living in the poorer areas of northern cities in the first half of last century there was a strong sense of community. I do think that has broken down in the UK now, mainly because families now live so far apart and people are all very busy, but it was certainly a feature of my childhood.

    Reply
  88. Hi Lillian! Yes, that is very true. When my grandparents were living in the poorer areas of northern cities in the first half of last century there was a strong sense of community. I do think that has broken down in the UK now, mainly because families now live so far apart and people are all very busy, but it was certainly a feature of my childhood.

    Reply
  89. Hi Lillian! Yes, that is very true. When my grandparents were living in the poorer areas of northern cities in the first half of last century there was a strong sense of community. I do think that has broken down in the UK now, mainly because families now live so far apart and people are all very busy, but it was certainly a feature of my childhood.

    Reply
  90. Hi Lillian! Yes, that is very true. When my grandparents were living in the poorer areas of northern cities in the first half of last century there was a strong sense of community. I do think that has broken down in the UK now, mainly because families now live so far apart and people are all very busy, but it was certainly a feature of my childhood.

    Reply
  91. I’m a city girl myself. I tell people I have no internal resources so need the external stimulation provided by an urban environment. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t like stories set in villages, because I do. As several others have noted, it’s all in the execution.
    What I do not like — and it’s more common in American-set contemporaries than in historicals — is the disparagement of cities. If the heroine’s rival is from a city (or wants to move there), it’s all too often presented as an indication that she’s evil, never simply that she likes going to museums and restaurants or that she wants to expand her horizons. Cities are cold and impersonal places in those books, and as someone who lives in a neighborhood within a larger city, I know that’s not necessarily true. I know many of my neighbors and the local shopkeepers, and when I walk to run my errands (definitely love my neighborhood’s walkability) I run into someone I know almost every time. So please, set the book in a small town or the city, but do not present one as all good and the other as all bad. Both are populated by people, which means that both are a very mixed bag.

    Reply
  92. I’m a city girl myself. I tell people I have no internal resources so need the external stimulation provided by an urban environment. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t like stories set in villages, because I do. As several others have noted, it’s all in the execution.
    What I do not like — and it’s more common in American-set contemporaries than in historicals — is the disparagement of cities. If the heroine’s rival is from a city (or wants to move there), it’s all too often presented as an indication that she’s evil, never simply that she likes going to museums and restaurants or that she wants to expand her horizons. Cities are cold and impersonal places in those books, and as someone who lives in a neighborhood within a larger city, I know that’s not necessarily true. I know many of my neighbors and the local shopkeepers, and when I walk to run my errands (definitely love my neighborhood’s walkability) I run into someone I know almost every time. So please, set the book in a small town or the city, but do not present one as all good and the other as all bad. Both are populated by people, which means that both are a very mixed bag.

    Reply
  93. I’m a city girl myself. I tell people I have no internal resources so need the external stimulation provided by an urban environment. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t like stories set in villages, because I do. As several others have noted, it’s all in the execution.
    What I do not like — and it’s more common in American-set contemporaries than in historicals — is the disparagement of cities. If the heroine’s rival is from a city (or wants to move there), it’s all too often presented as an indication that she’s evil, never simply that she likes going to museums and restaurants or that she wants to expand her horizons. Cities are cold and impersonal places in those books, and as someone who lives in a neighborhood within a larger city, I know that’s not necessarily true. I know many of my neighbors and the local shopkeepers, and when I walk to run my errands (definitely love my neighborhood’s walkability) I run into someone I know almost every time. So please, set the book in a small town or the city, but do not present one as all good and the other as all bad. Both are populated by people, which means that both are a very mixed bag.

    Reply
  94. I’m a city girl myself. I tell people I have no internal resources so need the external stimulation provided by an urban environment. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t like stories set in villages, because I do. As several others have noted, it’s all in the execution.
    What I do not like — and it’s more common in American-set contemporaries than in historicals — is the disparagement of cities. If the heroine’s rival is from a city (or wants to move there), it’s all too often presented as an indication that she’s evil, never simply that she likes going to museums and restaurants or that she wants to expand her horizons. Cities are cold and impersonal places in those books, and as someone who lives in a neighborhood within a larger city, I know that’s not necessarily true. I know many of my neighbors and the local shopkeepers, and when I walk to run my errands (definitely love my neighborhood’s walkability) I run into someone I know almost every time. So please, set the book in a small town or the city, but do not present one as all good and the other as all bad. Both are populated by people, which means that both are a very mixed bag.

    Reply
  95. I’m a city girl myself. I tell people I have no internal resources so need the external stimulation provided by an urban environment. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t like stories set in villages, because I do. As several others have noted, it’s all in the execution.
    What I do not like — and it’s more common in American-set contemporaries than in historicals — is the disparagement of cities. If the heroine’s rival is from a city (or wants to move there), it’s all too often presented as an indication that she’s evil, never simply that she likes going to museums and restaurants or that she wants to expand her horizons. Cities are cold and impersonal places in those books, and as someone who lives in a neighborhood within a larger city, I know that’s not necessarily true. I know many of my neighbors and the local shopkeepers, and when I walk to run my errands (definitely love my neighborhood’s walkability) I run into someone I know almost every time. So please, set the book in a small town or the city, but do not present one as all good and the other as all bad. Both are populated by people, which means that both are a very mixed bag.

    Reply
  96. I love books set in villages. Maybe because for most of my life I’ve lived out in the back arse of nowhere (excuse the language) and at times feel isolated. I’ve always felt living in a village would be great for the company and security of having people around.
    I don’t read crime novels as a rule, with the exception of the Miss Marple books, which I love, but I do enjoy watching them on tv. I just love Midsomer Murders and my absolute fav is Foyle’s War, even though Hastings is larger than a village. When I read a book set in a village I always try and lay it out in my minds eye. I also enjoyed reading and watching Cranford. A great novel.

    Reply
  97. I love books set in villages. Maybe because for most of my life I’ve lived out in the back arse of nowhere (excuse the language) and at times feel isolated. I’ve always felt living in a village would be great for the company and security of having people around.
    I don’t read crime novels as a rule, with the exception of the Miss Marple books, which I love, but I do enjoy watching them on tv. I just love Midsomer Murders and my absolute fav is Foyle’s War, even though Hastings is larger than a village. When I read a book set in a village I always try and lay it out in my minds eye. I also enjoyed reading and watching Cranford. A great novel.

    Reply
  98. I love books set in villages. Maybe because for most of my life I’ve lived out in the back arse of nowhere (excuse the language) and at times feel isolated. I’ve always felt living in a village would be great for the company and security of having people around.
    I don’t read crime novels as a rule, with the exception of the Miss Marple books, which I love, but I do enjoy watching them on tv. I just love Midsomer Murders and my absolute fav is Foyle’s War, even though Hastings is larger than a village. When I read a book set in a village I always try and lay it out in my minds eye. I also enjoyed reading and watching Cranford. A great novel.

    Reply
  99. I love books set in villages. Maybe because for most of my life I’ve lived out in the back arse of nowhere (excuse the language) and at times feel isolated. I’ve always felt living in a village would be great for the company and security of having people around.
    I don’t read crime novels as a rule, with the exception of the Miss Marple books, which I love, but I do enjoy watching them on tv. I just love Midsomer Murders and my absolute fav is Foyle’s War, even though Hastings is larger than a village. When I read a book set in a village I always try and lay it out in my minds eye. I also enjoyed reading and watching Cranford. A great novel.

    Reply
  100. I love books set in villages. Maybe because for most of my life I’ve lived out in the back arse of nowhere (excuse the language) and at times feel isolated. I’ve always felt living in a village would be great for the company and security of having people around.
    I don’t read crime novels as a rule, with the exception of the Miss Marple books, which I love, but I do enjoy watching them on tv. I just love Midsomer Murders and my absolute fav is Foyle’s War, even though Hastings is larger than a village. When I read a book set in a village I always try and lay it out in my minds eye. I also enjoyed reading and watching Cranford. A great novel.

    Reply
  101. I’ve lived in a big city all my life, but when I was a kid, there was a sort of Neighborhood on my street. At least I knew who everybody was and who was okay and who wasn’t.
    Small group dynamics have always interested me. English village stories are small group dynamics stories which take place in beautiful old houses and gardens. Whether modern (Agatha Raisin cracks me up) or historical, it’s one of my favorite escape worlds.
    Foyle’s War is brilliant, but all I have learned from Midsomer Murders (which streams on Netflix) is that sergeants are interchangeable and only really nasty people get murdered.

    Reply
  102. I’ve lived in a big city all my life, but when I was a kid, there was a sort of Neighborhood on my street. At least I knew who everybody was and who was okay and who wasn’t.
    Small group dynamics have always interested me. English village stories are small group dynamics stories which take place in beautiful old houses and gardens. Whether modern (Agatha Raisin cracks me up) or historical, it’s one of my favorite escape worlds.
    Foyle’s War is brilliant, but all I have learned from Midsomer Murders (which streams on Netflix) is that sergeants are interchangeable and only really nasty people get murdered.

    Reply
  103. I’ve lived in a big city all my life, but when I was a kid, there was a sort of Neighborhood on my street. At least I knew who everybody was and who was okay and who wasn’t.
    Small group dynamics have always interested me. English village stories are small group dynamics stories which take place in beautiful old houses and gardens. Whether modern (Agatha Raisin cracks me up) or historical, it’s one of my favorite escape worlds.
    Foyle’s War is brilliant, but all I have learned from Midsomer Murders (which streams on Netflix) is that sergeants are interchangeable and only really nasty people get murdered.

    Reply
  104. I’ve lived in a big city all my life, but when I was a kid, there was a sort of Neighborhood on my street. At least I knew who everybody was and who was okay and who wasn’t.
    Small group dynamics have always interested me. English village stories are small group dynamics stories which take place in beautiful old houses and gardens. Whether modern (Agatha Raisin cracks me up) or historical, it’s one of my favorite escape worlds.
    Foyle’s War is brilliant, but all I have learned from Midsomer Murders (which streams on Netflix) is that sergeants are interchangeable and only really nasty people get murdered.

    Reply
  105. I’ve lived in a big city all my life, but when I was a kid, there was a sort of Neighborhood on my street. At least I knew who everybody was and who was okay and who wasn’t.
    Small group dynamics have always interested me. English village stories are small group dynamics stories which take place in beautiful old houses and gardens. Whether modern (Agatha Raisin cracks me up) or historical, it’s one of my favorite escape worlds.
    Foyle’s War is brilliant, but all I have learned from Midsomer Murders (which streams on Netflix) is that sergeants are interchangeable and only really nasty people get murdered.

    Reply
  106. And how about the Father Brown series? Lovely small village, a large number of local grand houses, an ensemble of stereotypical village types who act in unexpected ways, and some very weird murders! And sometimes, even Father Brown lets the murderer get away! Don’t like the current police detective at all, however. And strongly agree Foyle’s War was just marvelous!
    Re city vs village, I grew up in a very small town in North Carolina and couldn’t wait to escape to a city. After marriage, moved to the burbs to a town 10 times the size of my hometown, but still considered small. Now thinking maybe we’ll go back to the city! I agree with those who say community can be anywhere, but do think you have to work at it no matter the location.

    Reply
  107. And how about the Father Brown series? Lovely small village, a large number of local grand houses, an ensemble of stereotypical village types who act in unexpected ways, and some very weird murders! And sometimes, even Father Brown lets the murderer get away! Don’t like the current police detective at all, however. And strongly agree Foyle’s War was just marvelous!
    Re city vs village, I grew up in a very small town in North Carolina and couldn’t wait to escape to a city. After marriage, moved to the burbs to a town 10 times the size of my hometown, but still considered small. Now thinking maybe we’ll go back to the city! I agree with those who say community can be anywhere, but do think you have to work at it no matter the location.

    Reply
  108. And how about the Father Brown series? Lovely small village, a large number of local grand houses, an ensemble of stereotypical village types who act in unexpected ways, and some very weird murders! And sometimes, even Father Brown lets the murderer get away! Don’t like the current police detective at all, however. And strongly agree Foyle’s War was just marvelous!
    Re city vs village, I grew up in a very small town in North Carolina and couldn’t wait to escape to a city. After marriage, moved to the burbs to a town 10 times the size of my hometown, but still considered small. Now thinking maybe we’ll go back to the city! I agree with those who say community can be anywhere, but do think you have to work at it no matter the location.

    Reply
  109. And how about the Father Brown series? Lovely small village, a large number of local grand houses, an ensemble of stereotypical village types who act in unexpected ways, and some very weird murders! And sometimes, even Father Brown lets the murderer get away! Don’t like the current police detective at all, however. And strongly agree Foyle’s War was just marvelous!
    Re city vs village, I grew up in a very small town in North Carolina and couldn’t wait to escape to a city. After marriage, moved to the burbs to a town 10 times the size of my hometown, but still considered small. Now thinking maybe we’ll go back to the city! I agree with those who say community can be anywhere, but do think you have to work at it no matter the location.

    Reply
  110. And how about the Father Brown series? Lovely small village, a large number of local grand houses, an ensemble of stereotypical village types who act in unexpected ways, and some very weird murders! And sometimes, even Father Brown lets the murderer get away! Don’t like the current police detective at all, however. And strongly agree Foyle’s War was just marvelous!
    Re city vs village, I grew up in a very small town in North Carolina and couldn’t wait to escape to a city. After marriage, moved to the burbs to a town 10 times the size of my hometown, but still considered small. Now thinking maybe we’ll go back to the city! I agree with those who say community can be anywhere, but do think you have to work at it no matter the location.

    Reply
  111. Absolutely – perhaps because I live in a small town. It’s fun to meet all the supporting characters, often quirky, who have know each other for a long time.
    I love that Midsommers Murder series – besides the mystery, I love seeing all the villages & drives all over the countryside.

    Reply
  112. Absolutely – perhaps because I live in a small town. It’s fun to meet all the supporting characters, often quirky, who have know each other for a long time.
    I love that Midsommers Murder series – besides the mystery, I love seeing all the villages & drives all over the countryside.

    Reply
  113. Absolutely – perhaps because I live in a small town. It’s fun to meet all the supporting characters, often quirky, who have know each other for a long time.
    I love that Midsommers Murder series – besides the mystery, I love seeing all the villages & drives all over the countryside.

    Reply
  114. Absolutely – perhaps because I live in a small town. It’s fun to meet all the supporting characters, often quirky, who have know each other for a long time.
    I love that Midsommers Murder series – besides the mystery, I love seeing all the villages & drives all over the countryside.

    Reply
  115. Absolutely – perhaps because I live in a small town. It’s fun to meet all the supporting characters, often quirky, who have know each other for a long time.
    I love that Midsommers Murder series – besides the mystery, I love seeing all the villages & drives all over the countryside.

    Reply
  116. One of my favorite reads was set in a small village and not only did I love the H and h but I love how the author made me feel like I was part of the community. Sometimes books will be set in a small village but they don’t really pull you into the feeling of a small town which can have it’s downfalls ( everyone knows everyone’s business lol) but you gotta love how they can all pull together for each other too.

    Reply
  117. One of my favorite reads was set in a small village and not only did I love the H and h but I love how the author made me feel like I was part of the community. Sometimes books will be set in a small village but they don’t really pull you into the feeling of a small town which can have it’s downfalls ( everyone knows everyone’s business lol) but you gotta love how they can all pull together for each other too.

    Reply
  118. One of my favorite reads was set in a small village and not only did I love the H and h but I love how the author made me feel like I was part of the community. Sometimes books will be set in a small village but they don’t really pull you into the feeling of a small town which can have it’s downfalls ( everyone knows everyone’s business lol) but you gotta love how they can all pull together for each other too.

    Reply
  119. One of my favorite reads was set in a small village and not only did I love the H and h but I love how the author made me feel like I was part of the community. Sometimes books will be set in a small village but they don’t really pull you into the feeling of a small town which can have it’s downfalls ( everyone knows everyone’s business lol) but you gotta love how they can all pull together for each other too.

    Reply
  120. One of my favorite reads was set in a small village and not only did I love the H and h but I love how the author made me feel like I was part of the community. Sometimes books will be set in a small village but they don’t really pull you into the feeling of a small town which can have it’s downfalls ( everyone knows everyone’s business lol) but you gotta love how they can all pull together for each other too.

    Reply
  121. That’s a very interesting observation, Susan. I must admit that I hadn’t consciously noticed the disparagement of cities in any books I’ve read but now that you mention it I can see it could be used as shorthand for someone rejecting the values of the village or town. In the UK there seems to be a constant disparagement of the country in the media, perhaps because they are metropolitan-based, although plenty have homes in the countryside!

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  122. That’s a very interesting observation, Susan. I must admit that I hadn’t consciously noticed the disparagement of cities in any books I’ve read but now that you mention it I can see it could be used as shorthand for someone rejecting the values of the village or town. In the UK there seems to be a constant disparagement of the country in the media, perhaps because they are metropolitan-based, although plenty have homes in the countryside!

    Reply
  123. That’s a very interesting observation, Susan. I must admit that I hadn’t consciously noticed the disparagement of cities in any books I’ve read but now that you mention it I can see it could be used as shorthand for someone rejecting the values of the village or town. In the UK there seems to be a constant disparagement of the country in the media, perhaps because they are metropolitan-based, although plenty have homes in the countryside!

    Reply
  124. That’s a very interesting observation, Susan. I must admit that I hadn’t consciously noticed the disparagement of cities in any books I’ve read but now that you mention it I can see it could be used as shorthand for someone rejecting the values of the village or town. In the UK there seems to be a constant disparagement of the country in the media, perhaps because they are metropolitan-based, although plenty have homes in the countryside!

    Reply
  125. That’s a very interesting observation, Susan. I must admit that I hadn’t consciously noticed the disparagement of cities in any books I’ve read but now that you mention it I can see it could be used as shorthand for someone rejecting the values of the village or town. In the UK there seems to be a constant disparagement of the country in the media, perhaps because they are metropolitan-based, although plenty have homes in the countryside!

    Reply
  126. LOL, Teresa! I love Midsomer Murders too – the ridiculously high body count just feels part of the enjoyment of the story, which is interesting. I suppose it comes back to the interplay of the characters and the intrigue. Cranford was a wonderful series and so well-observed. I must watch that again – or re-read the book!

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  127. LOL, Teresa! I love Midsomer Murders too – the ridiculously high body count just feels part of the enjoyment of the story, which is interesting. I suppose it comes back to the interplay of the characters and the intrigue. Cranford was a wonderful series and so well-observed. I must watch that again – or re-read the book!

    Reply
  128. LOL, Teresa! I love Midsomer Murders too – the ridiculously high body count just feels part of the enjoyment of the story, which is interesting. I suppose it comes back to the interplay of the characters and the intrigue. Cranford was a wonderful series and so well-observed. I must watch that again – or re-read the book!

    Reply
  129. LOL, Teresa! I love Midsomer Murders too – the ridiculously high body count just feels part of the enjoyment of the story, which is interesting. I suppose it comes back to the interplay of the characters and the intrigue. Cranford was a wonderful series and so well-observed. I must watch that again – or re-read the book!

    Reply
  130. LOL, Teresa! I love Midsomer Murders too – the ridiculously high body count just feels part of the enjoyment of the story, which is interesting. I suppose it comes back to the interplay of the characters and the intrigue. Cranford was a wonderful series and so well-observed. I must watch that again – or re-read the book!

    Reply
  131. It is interesting how the community dynamic operated in cities, Janice, and I imagine it still does in parts of some cities today, although when I lived in London it wasn’t present in that part of the city. Small group dynamics in any form are very interesting. I’m laughing over your description of Midsomer Murders!

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  132. It is interesting how the community dynamic operated in cities, Janice, and I imagine it still does in parts of some cities today, although when I lived in London it wasn’t present in that part of the city. Small group dynamics in any form are very interesting. I’m laughing over your description of Midsomer Murders!

    Reply
  133. It is interesting how the community dynamic operated in cities, Janice, and I imagine it still does in parts of some cities today, although when I lived in London it wasn’t present in that part of the city. Small group dynamics in any form are very interesting. I’m laughing over your description of Midsomer Murders!

    Reply
  134. It is interesting how the community dynamic operated in cities, Janice, and I imagine it still does in parts of some cities today, although when I lived in London it wasn’t present in that part of the city. Small group dynamics in any form are very interesting. I’m laughing over your description of Midsomer Murders!

    Reply
  135. It is interesting how the community dynamic operated in cities, Janice, and I imagine it still does in parts of some cities today, although when I lived in London it wasn’t present in that part of the city. Small group dynamics in any form are very interesting. I’m laughing over your description of Midsomer Murders!

    Reply
  136. Yes, I so agree that you have to work at creating a community, no matter where you are. The country house dynamic is another “similar but different” sort of community, isn’t it, and very popular in books and film too!
    Perhaps we all want different sorts of communities at different times in our lives. These days I fancy swapping the village for a country town!

    Reply
  137. Yes, I so agree that you have to work at creating a community, no matter where you are. The country house dynamic is another “similar but different” sort of community, isn’t it, and very popular in books and film too!
    Perhaps we all want different sorts of communities at different times in our lives. These days I fancy swapping the village for a country town!

    Reply
  138. Yes, I so agree that you have to work at creating a community, no matter where you are. The country house dynamic is another “similar but different” sort of community, isn’t it, and very popular in books and film too!
    Perhaps we all want different sorts of communities at different times in our lives. These days I fancy swapping the village for a country town!

    Reply
  139. Yes, I so agree that you have to work at creating a community, no matter where you are. The country house dynamic is another “similar but different” sort of community, isn’t it, and very popular in books and film too!
    Perhaps we all want different sorts of communities at different times in our lives. These days I fancy swapping the village for a country town!

    Reply
  140. Yes, I so agree that you have to work at creating a community, no matter where you are. The country house dynamic is another “similar but different” sort of community, isn’t it, and very popular in books and film too!
    Perhaps we all want different sorts of communities at different times in our lives. These days I fancy swapping the village for a country town!

    Reply
  141. I live now in a market town, but I got to the parish church at a nearby village because I don’t have to pay for parking. So I get a touch of village life, a bit of bigger bustle, and then London for a Saturday adventure. I don’t know which I like better in real life or fiction; they’re all fun. My current village, however, is Ambridge.

    Reply
  142. I live now in a market town, but I got to the parish church at a nearby village because I don’t have to pay for parking. So I get a touch of village life, a bit of bigger bustle, and then London for a Saturday adventure. I don’t know which I like better in real life or fiction; they’re all fun. My current village, however, is Ambridge.

    Reply
  143. I live now in a market town, but I got to the parish church at a nearby village because I don’t have to pay for parking. So I get a touch of village life, a bit of bigger bustle, and then London for a Saturday adventure. I don’t know which I like better in real life or fiction; they’re all fun. My current village, however, is Ambridge.

    Reply
  144. I live now in a market town, but I got to the parish church at a nearby village because I don’t have to pay for parking. So I get a touch of village life, a bit of bigger bustle, and then London for a Saturday adventure. I don’t know which I like better in real life or fiction; they’re all fun. My current village, however, is Ambridge.

    Reply
  145. I live now in a market town, but I got to the parish church at a nearby village because I don’t have to pay for parking. So I get a touch of village life, a bit of bigger bustle, and then London for a Saturday adventure. I don’t know which I like better in real life or fiction; they’re all fun. My current village, however, is Ambridge.

    Reply
  146. OH! DONT’ get me started on town vs city! Neither one is “better” they are just different. And neither half can ive without the other half. In Missouri the St. Louis and Kansas City metropolitan areas are “outcasts” according to the country farmers. Even when St. Louis was my home, I failed to understand this.

    Reply
  147. OH! DONT’ get me started on town vs city! Neither one is “better” they are just different. And neither half can ive without the other half. In Missouri the St. Louis and Kansas City metropolitan areas are “outcasts” according to the country farmers. Even when St. Louis was my home, I failed to understand this.

    Reply
  148. OH! DONT’ get me started on town vs city! Neither one is “better” they are just different. And neither half can ive without the other half. In Missouri the St. Louis and Kansas City metropolitan areas are “outcasts” according to the country farmers. Even when St. Louis was my home, I failed to understand this.

    Reply
  149. OH! DONT’ get me started on town vs city! Neither one is “better” they are just different. And neither half can ive without the other half. In Missouri the St. Louis and Kansas City metropolitan areas are “outcasts” according to the country farmers. Even when St. Louis was my home, I failed to understand this.

    Reply
  150. OH! DONT’ get me started on town vs city! Neither one is “better” they are just different. And neither half can ive without the other half. In Missouri the St. Louis and Kansas City metropolitan areas are “outcasts” according to the country farmers. Even when St. Louis was my home, I failed to understand this.

    Reply

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