The delightful, gossipy diaries of James Lees-Milne describe his encounters with the owners of country houses - from eccentric lords and oil millionaires to raffish socialists - as he travelled over England saving properties for the National Trust. Here are sharply observed accounts of dinner with Vita Sackville - West at Sissinghurst; Winston Churchill's bedroom at Chartwell; T.E. Lawrence's dilapidated Dorset cottage; and, war damage to a great house in Derby. All are infused with his love of beauty and his sympathy for those giving up their ancestral homes forever. Generations of inhabitants have helped shape the English countryside - but it has profoundly shaped us too. It has provoked a huge variety of responses from artists, writers, musicians and people who live and work on the land - as well as those who are travelling through it. "English Journeys" celebrates this long tradition with a series of twenty books on all aspects of the countryside, from stargazey pie and country churches, to man's relationship with nature and songs celebrating the patterns of the countryside (as well as ghosts and love-struck soldiers).