These 39 pieces are classics of travel writing, elegantly written, infused with the inquisitiveness of a good journalist and often riotously funny. Wherever he goes - Dominica, up the Amazon River, Kuwait - Allen Abel always homes in on the human element of the story.
The British empire was on the verge of revolution and at the centre of events are the Stuart sisters: Mary the Queen, and Anne the Queen-to-be, continually haunted by the memory of their father, James II, whom they have wronged.
Two strangers arrive at Hundred Acre Field and the rumour is that a large housing estate is to be built there. While the protests and public enquiry take place, the villagers have other cause for shaking their heads when Miss Jackson falls in love and Joseph Coggs takes flight from Tyler's Row.