Many questions have been raised about the standing of the 18th century village. Was it Oliver Goldsmith’s Auburn and a heaven on earth, or was it squalid, unsanitary and absolutely to be avoided?
Miss S writes to tell me that being newly arrived in Berkhamstead she took herself to view the town’s great landmark, known as the Golden Valley, and she wonders now if that master of beech-hung beauty, Capability Brown, whom she knew by reputation, could have worked his wizardry there.
Only yesterday I made the observation to my friend Captain Ken, as we paused at a spinney for him to seek out a good hazel stick, that I am frequently struck by the surprising way a word, an idea, a place, mentioned once, can become suddenly ubiquitous. For thus it has been for me and Wales – and on the very day following our conversation.