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A glorious ramble around Yorkshire from one of our best loved poets

I’m going to define the essence of this sprawling place as best I can. I’m going to start here, in this village, and radiate out like a ripple in a pond. I don’t want to go to the obvious places, either; I want to be like a bus driver on my first morning on the job, getting gloriously lost, turning up where I shouldn’t. I’m going to confirm or deny the clichés, holding them up to see where the light gets in. Yorkshire people are tight. Yorkshire people are arrogant. Yorkshire people eat a Yorkshire pudding before every meal. Yorkshire people solder a t’ before every word they use...

If there were such a thing as a professional Yorkshireman, Ian McMillan would be it. He’s regularly consulted as a home-grown expert, and southerners comment archly on his ‘fruity Yorkshire brogue’. But he has been keeping a secret. His dad was from Lanarkshire, Scotland, making him, as he puts it, only ‘half tyke’. So Ian is worried; is he Yorkshire enough?

To try to understand what this means Ian embarks on a journey around the county, starting in the village has lived in his entire life. With contributions from the Cudworth Probus Club, a kazoo playing train guard, Mad Geoff the barber and four Saddleworth council workers looking for a mattress, Ian tries to discover what lies at the heart of Britain’s most distinct county and its people, as well as finding out whether the Yorkshire Pudding is worthy of becoming a UNESCO Intangible Heritage Site, if Harrogate is really, really, in Yorkshire and, of course, who knocks up the knocker up?

Reviews

A love letter to Yorkshire … enjoyably so

Book of the Week, Daily Mail

A force of nature

Guardian

Inching towards the status of a national treasure

Andy Kershaw

World-class – one of today’s greatest poetry performers

Carol Ann Duffy

With McMillan, you feel a draught coming from the blast of fresh air blowing through the dusty cobwebs that festoon most literary programmes

Sue Arnold, Observer

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780091959968

    June 15, 2016

    Ebury Press

    352 pages

    RRP $19.99

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  • EBook

    9781473503212

    June 25, 2015

    Ebury Digital

    352 pages

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