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That Will Be England Gone


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About the Author

Born in Lancashire, MICHAEL HENDERSON has written for the Guardian, Observer, The Times and Daily Mail, and was cricket correspondent for the Daily Telegraph. He writes regularly about the arts for the Spectator and New Statesman, and about cricket for The Cricketer. He lives in London.


Absolutely and completely loved this book by Michael Henderson - love letter, memoir, lament, polemic. Read, in place of cricket * Marina Hyde *
Michael Henderson is one of the most knowledgeable writers there is about the summer game. In this vibrant chronicle of the 2019 cricket season, he travels around England taking the temperature of the sport he loves. The result is pure gold . . . The book is also a love poem to an England fast disappearing . . . For those who fear the worst for the sport they love, this is like cool, clear water for a man dying of thirst. It's barnstorming, coruscating stuff, and as fine a book about the game as you'll read for years -- Michael Simkins * Mail on Sunday *
Philip Larkin's line "that will be England gone" is the premise of this fascinating book which is about music, literature, poetry and films as well as cricket. Henderson is that rare bird, a reporter with a fine grasp of time and place, but also a stylist of enviable quality and perception * Michael Parkinson *
Admirers of Neville Cardus and A. E. Housman will warm to Michael Henderson's elegy for an ideal England. A rich roast dinner of cricket, music, topography, nostalgia and anecdote, washed down with prose as smooth and satisfying as a pint of Otter Ale * Sebastian Faulks *
Charming . . . a threnody for a vanished and possibly mythical England -- Sebastian Faulks * Sunday Times *

Lyrical . . . [Henderson's] pen is filled with the romantic spirit of the great Neville Cardus . . . This
book is an extended love letter, a beautifully written one, to a world that he is desperate to keep alive for
others to discover and share. Not just his love of cricket, either, but of poetry and classical music and fine
cinema . . . A book that started out as an elegy for a changing game seems more poignant now

-- Patrick Kidd * The Times *
To those who love both cricket and the context in which it is played, the book is rather wonderful, and moving -- Simon Heffer * Daily Telegraph *
It is about cricket but also about much more: landscape, place, poetry, music, national mythology . . . This is the book's authentic register, and it is haunted by loss -- Jason Cowley * New Statesman *
Englishness itself, as much as cricket, is the main theme of Michael Henderson's genre-melding That Will Be England Gone . . . extremely readable . . . often amusing . . . That Will be England Gone is part memoir, part sports book, part essay . . . Given that this may be a summer without leather and willow, and that coughing has become taboo, Henderson's book provides a much-needed literary-cricketing alternative: a beautiful clearing of the throat -- Daniel Rey * Spectator *

In a work that now seems improbably prescient, that same sense of gazing at a disappearing world has been articulated with great skill and, most of all, great affection by Michael Henderson . . . The book - a paean to the sub-culture of county cricket, its supporters, its players, its observers, its writers, its pubs and its arenas - was completed before the coronavirus crisis struck but its premise seems more pertinent than

-- Oliver Holt * Mail on Sunday *
A travelogue and a love letter to the festival and spa towns of England and in particular to the places where county cricket is played . . . Henderson writes beautifully about Cheltenham and Chesterfield and Trent Bridge in Nottingham, his favourite Test ground. You do not need to love cricket to feel the point -- Philip Collins * The Times *
One of my favourite writers about cricket -- Martin Samuel * Daily Mail *
Beautifully written piece of work . . . wonderful book - not just a sports book, which is why it is so good - is to be reminded, or even educated, of what it means to be English and of England's history * Yorkshire Post *
All good sports books are about more than just sport, and this anti-modern elegy to an old rural England takes in countless bypaths from Vienna to Ken Dodd . . . Erudite and occasionally beautiful * Financial Times *
Erudite . . . genuinely beautiful * Wisden Cricket Monthly *
It would perhaps be a mistake to regard this as purely a cricket book. Each excursion to a cricket ground is preceded and accompanied by extensive digressions elsewhere. But the digressions are not wandering from the point, but carefully crafted scene-setting as Henderson provides the social, artistic and historical context for the cricket he witnesses. Rather than purely a cricket book, this is an elegy for a vanishing world with cricket as its framework -- Richard Lawrence * The Journal of the Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians *

Wonderful elegy to a game that, way more than any other, defines our shared identity . . . a timely reminder
of what is missing from our lives in cricket's absence

-- Jim White * The Oldie *

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