b'BOOKSThe ChangingBedfordshire LandscapeA Certain Degree of Magnificence: People in the Bedfordshire Landscape begins with the archaeological evidence for early farming and settlement and shows, with a focus on Bedfordshire, how people have shaped the landscape of south East England.Brian Kerr, a soil scientist and a Visiting Fellow at Cranfield University, gives a non-technical account of landscape history following a chronological approach which relates national historical events such as the Roman occupation to local changes with the county. He touches on how agricultural history, such as the Saxon and later Norman estates with a widespread system of Open Field farming, Ex Libris has influenced the present-day landscape.The title is drawn from the work of Humphry Repton who with the other great English gardeners created In her gripping sixth novel Sunday Times Numberextensive parklands and beautified the estates of wealthy One bestseller Victoria Hislop - her first novellandowners leaving a legacy of attractive scenery to be was The Island - returns to Greece. Those Whoenjoyed today. In later chapters the book describes the Are Loved is set during the German occupation ofimpact on the landscape of the Bedfordshire extraction Greece, the civil war that followed and a militaryindustries such as clay for brick making on the public perceptions of Bedfordshire. In final chapters the author dictatorship. looks forward to potential changes in the landscape The novel opens in Athens in 2016 as Themis,as the public interest in food and farming grows and an old woman, is visited by her large family tothere is competition for space from housing, leisure and celebrate her birthday. When they have all left theconservation. This book would appeal to anyone with an party apart from two grandchildren who are in theirinterest in outdoors such as walkers who would enjoy twenties, Themis decides to tell them the story oflearning more about the countryside.her life as her legacy to them. She begins in theLaunched at The Higgins Bedford in May, the book is 1930s when she was a child being brought up byavailable from Amazon.her grandmother together with her two brothers and her sister. Themis describes the political differences which always caused arguments in her family and which intensified during the Nazi occupation of Athens in 1941.Polarised between right and left wing views when the Germans invade, many of the Greek people suffer greatly and Themis, now age 15, sees friends die during the famine.When civil war follows the end of the occupation Themis, outraged by those who have collaborated with the Nazis, joins the Communist army where she learns to use a gun and kill. Eventually imprisoned on the infamous islands of exile, Makronisos and then Trikeri, Themis suffers extreme physical violence. For the sake of her baby son, she signs a repentence and returns to Athens with himThis painstakingly researched novel takes the complexity and tragedy of Greeces past and intermingles its history with the fictional story of an ordinary woman compelled to live an extraordinary life.Reviewed by Roz Masters'