Edith Olivier

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28 August 2014
300 pages

'This "landscape of the uplands" has been described as "an ocean of rolling grass"; and, with its distinct and yet unaccented separateness, it looks like the green eye of England.'

Originally compiled by the near-blind Olivier in 1945-1946 and posthumously published three years after her death in 1951 by her niece Rosemary, Wiltshire is acknowledged as a credible early travel guide in which the county is truly brought to life.

In Wiltshire, Edith Olivier paints a vivid portrait of her beloved homeland, describing in minute detail its history, character, towns and villages, people, landscape, customs and traditions. Dating back to the time of the Saxon invasions through to the birth of a modern, pre-war Wiltshire, and covering such vast subjects as its royal entertainments, sports and leisure pursuits, dialect, architecture and the collections contained within its great country houses, Olivier clearly depicts the personality and landscape of Wiltshire.

Drawing on extensive research and containing entertaining anecdotes about famous historical figures travelling through the county, including Henry VIII and Shakespeare, as well as tales of highway robberies and early theories behind the origins of Stonehenge, Olivier has crafted a warm and informative account of a bygone era. Edith became mayor of Wilton in 1939 and her love of the place is clearly depicted in this great work.