|Title: Suffolk Scene
Author: Julian Tennyson
Date published: 1939
Status: out of print, but easily available
What is it? Julian Tennyson's classic exploration of Suffolk in the 1930s.
What's it like? In aspect and outlook, Suffolk seems content to amble along at least a century behind the rest of England. Because it has not been visited with the questionable comforts of modernity, it remains shy and unsophisticated. Not only are the people shy, but the spirit of the county itself is independent, capricious and elusive - if you don't treat it properly it will, like an unresponsive tortoise, retire to the seclusion of its own shell and escape you forever. That slight animosity of Suffolk attracts the right people and repels the wrong ones.
What's good about it? Precise and unsentimental, Tennyson is a seriously good writer. He is witty and perceptive, writing out of the tradition of Hilaire Belloc. A fine antidote to Arthur Mee.
What's bad about it? It is very dated, and Tennyson's Suffolk was probably no more real than Mee's was.
Overall rating: 4/5