3 MARCH 1939, Page 19


The Other England

Those who are still wondering whether a long period of peace may not mean the same thing as a long period of undeclared war must also wonder whether there is an alternative to Europe as a holiday centre. Let me advise anyone who has doubts about the somnolence of the European volcano to have a look at New England this summer. Anyone who goes to America with the good old British prejudice that there is nothing like England is due for some pleasant shocks. No part of the world was so aptly named as New England, and I am not the first Englishman to have travelled through the lovely country- side of Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire with a queer feeling of inverted homesickness. There is green, rich, altogether lovely country just north of Boston that continually reminded me of the best of England. The deep-wooded, shallow-streamed valleys of the White Mountains recalled the Valley of the Exe; the woods of Massachusetts are very like the woods of the English south country. But the real New England is probably in the villages: the white painted eighteenth-century houses standing back from the streets behind green lawns and weeping New England elms, the lovely, severe white Unitarian churches, the village-green where the band plays on summer evenings.