Excess, we learned as children in Glasgow, was the defining characteristic of Americans: big country, big cars, food served by the bucket, big talk, Texas, CGE models. Eccentricity identified the English: bird watching, Bovril, train spotting, the Archers, bus spotting, Women's Institute Teas, the standard-of-living debate. This book represents an interesting merger of all that is American with all that is English. With 2,317 pages devoted to English agrarian history between 1850 and 1914, completed 44 years after the series was initiated, and published only after the deaths of two of the principal authors, it screams American-style excess. But the loving care devoted to duck decoys, the Large Black Pig Society, Church of England music, sand dunes, malaria, Cupiss's Constitution Balls, golf courses, agrarian utopianism, ruderal [sic] habitats, the Rational Dress Society, and much, much more betrays an endearing eccentricity that could only be English.