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About the book
  • Published: 2 June 2016
  • ISBN: 9781448192496
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 416

A Walk in the Park

The Life and Times of a People's Institution




Take a brilliantly entertaining walk through the history of the park with ‘one of Britain’s finest pop cultural historians’ (Guardian)

'A fascinating, informative, revelatory book' William Boyd, Guardian

Parks are such a familiar part of everyday life, you might be forgiven for thinking they have always been there. In fact, public parks are an invention. From their medieval inception as private hunting grounds through to their modern incarnation as public spaces of rest and relaxation, parks have been fought over by land-grabbing monarchs, reforming Victorian industrialists, hippies, punks, and somewhere along the way, the common folk trying to savour their single day of rest.

In A Walk in the Park, Travis Elborough excavates the history of parks in all their colour and complexity. Loving, funny and impassioned, this is a timely celebration of a small wonder that – in an age of swingeing cuts – we should not take for granted.

  • Pub date: 2 June 2016
  • ISBN: 9781448192496
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 416

About the Author

Travis Elborough

Travis Elborough, described as 'one of Britain's finest pop culture historians' by the Guardian, has been a freelance writer, author, broadcaster and cultural commentator for nearly two decades. His books include The Bus We Loved, London Bridge in America, and A Walk in the Park. Our History of the 20th Century: As Told in Diaries, Journals and Letters was published in 2017.

Also by Travis Elborough

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Praise for A Walk in the Park

“This is a fascinating, informative, revelatory book … The vast array of knowledge that Elborough disperses in this book will make you look at parks differently … Parks seem an immutable, strangely paradisiacal element of our fraught and complicated urban lives, but the fact that we actually have them, as Elborough demonstrates in this wonderful book is something to be marvelled at.”

William Boyd, Guardian

“Travis Elborough is becoming a latter-day Alan Bennett. Let loose in an array of reference libraries, he summons many a curious fact…from the shelves, which makes for a rich narrative… Alluring detail fills every page.”

Christopher Hawtree, Spectator

“Amiable new history of the public park… Turns up lots of interesting, joyful stuff… A Walk in the Park is an enjoyable stroll.”

Rachel Cooke, Observer

“His writing combines subtle drollery with a fantastical, Monty Python-ish strain… We can count this captivating book among the boons they [parks] have granted us.”

Andrew Martin, Financial Times

“Charming blend of the patriotic, popular and whimsical… Beautifully written.”

James McConnachie, Sunday Times

“Breezy but fact-filled prose… A worthy paean to the importance of parks to British life. His book is impassioned, informative.”

Daisy Dunn, The Times

“Quirky and delightful.”

Rachel Cooke, Observer

“Travis is a joyful cultural celebrant offering tantalizing nuggets of social history.”

Justine Crow, Families South East

“Quirky, lively history, full of unexpected detail.”

Simple Things

“Amiable new history of the public park… He turns up lots of interesting, joyful stuff along the way. He’s particularly good on our forebears’ taste for the ersatz… A Walk in the Park is an enjoyable stroll.”

Rachel Cooke, Guardian

“Fast-paced and richly peopled… Ebullient and enamored of his heroes is Elborough.”

Gillian Darley, Literary Review

“Highly enjoyable.”

Sunday Times

“Elborough's quietly effervescent style manages to transform the reader from being someone with a passing interest in whatever topic he happens to be writing about into a fully-fledged Routemaster/LP/London loon.”

Travel Guide

“Elborough writes in an aptly meandering style with an appetite for the eccentric marginalia of history”

Ben Felsenburg, Mail on Sunday

“[It is] quirky and original.”

Times Literary Supplement

“[A Walk in the Park is] wittily written and wide-ranging.”

French Property News, Book of the Year


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