SHROPSHIRE, the largest of English inland counties, is divided by the River Severn into two roughly equal halves. The north-east is a wide and fertile plain; south-west of the river is the famous hill country which is the subject of this book. One of the most attractive countrysides in the whole of England, it is still remarkably unspoilt, having preserved its unsophisticated individuality together with many of the outward and visible signs of an ancient past. The inspiration of its own novelist, Mary Webb, and its own `sweet sad singer', the author of A Shropshire Lad, it is a hidden-away piece of old England much loved by its visitors as well as its residents. All who know or wish to know the area will find this book a fascinating companion.
From that great Salopian focal point, landmark for the Legions, the Wrekin, to the uplands of the half-Welsh Clun Forest; from the bare Clee Hills to the jagged Striperstones, a rich diversity of rock formations produces striking contrasts in the natural scene. So important is the ecology of the region that a special account of its complexity, by A. W. Coysh, is appended to the book. Meanwhile, Mr. Waite, in his own inimitable style, provides the reader with a vivid account of the history and associations of its hills, houses, villages, churches and castles, linking the story of the past with the present so that the landscape and places acquire a new meaning.
An essential book for all Salopians, this unique work is also a delight for all who have what G. M. Trevelyan called `the longing, too often a thwarted longing, for natural beauty and the great unspoilt areas'.