One of Amazon.com’s reviewer’s describes Michell’s writing thus-
It’s that easy combination of neo-Platonism and pub grub that at one time seemed so naturally English, though it has almost disappeared from New Britain.
In one of his columns in the magazine (don’t know if it is in the book or not) he wrote –
“Once there were 40 Counties in England. In 1017 Winchcombeshire was abolished for bad behaviour and its limbs distributed between Worcs and Glos.”
Michell had a wonderful whimsical style of writing and often wrote tongue in cheek, but there was always a nugget of truth in there and a quick search reveals this accountof what happened-
The county’s demise in 1016 was brutal and brisk. Like the rest of Mercia, Wessex and East Anglia, it was, as the books say, ‘ravaged’ in the Viking invasion led by Cnut (Canute), younger son of Danish King Harold, and became part of the spoils to be divided up among his lieutenants by the new ruler of all England.
I suppose resisting an invading army could be interpreted as bad behaviour, especially if you are the leader of that invading army.
What a splendid idea. There are many organisations and institutions which could deservedly be abolished for bad behaviour including-
* The House Of Commons (obviously)
* Football Clubs (I did not see the incident said A. Manager as his star player gets yet another red card)
* The NUJ (have you ever met a well behaved journalist?)
and…not so much for bad behaviour but for behaving like King Cnut’s invading army-
* The Metropolitan Police Firing Firearms Squad.
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