The verse which more than any other is characteristic of English poetry is country verse. The painting which is the most representative of English pictorial genius is landscape painting. In this collection, the poetry and the painting of the countryside are combined in such a way that each illuminates the other.
The span covered by this book is from the sixteenth century to the present day. At one end are Milton, Shakespeare, Herrick, and Henry King, at the other are Ted Hughes, Norman Nicholson, John Betjeman and George Barker. Similarly with the artiss, the range is from Richard Wilson, J.M.W. Turner, Francis Towne and J.S. Cotman to Spencer Gore, Stanley Spencer, Robert Bevan and Graham Sutherland.