How country living changed the lives of three remarkable women writers

Very fine hot day. (Bank Holiday). Sound of band in Lewes from the Downs. Guns heard at intervals. Walked up the down at the back. Got plenty of mushrooms. Butterflies in quantities. Ladies Bedstraw, Roundheaded Rampion, Thyme, Marjoram. This isn’t what we expect from Virginia Woolf, known for her caustic investigations of friends and filigree portraits of her own inner life. But in 1917, after three years of mental illness, she moved to Asheham in Sussex and began a slow but dogged recovery that took the form of these daily walks and list-filled diary entries, which rarely contain the word ‘I’. Harriet Baker argues convincingly in her new book that

Why househunters are heading to Royal Berkshire

When the Prince and Princess of Wales announced they were moving their family to the Royal County of Berkshire this summer, estate agents reported a ‘flurry’ of enquiries about properties around Windsor and the village of Bucklebury, 50 minutes west on the M4. The Middleton family had already been increasing their interests in and around Bucklebury, where they have lived since Kate was young. James Middleton and his French wife, Alizée, own a farmhouse there, and Pippa Middleton’s husband, James Matthews, has acquired Bucklebury Farm Park. Pippa and her husband also bought a £15 million mansion nearby this year. And where royals and their relatives lead, it seems others follow.