Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “My Love Affair with England: A Traveler's Memoir” as Want to Read:
My Love Affair with England: A Traveler's Memoir
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

My Love Affair with England: A Traveler's Memoir

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  416 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
Journalist and memoirist Susan Allen Toth brings her special England vivdly to life as she recalls her many trips there over the years, where she explored the countryside, traveled both second-class and in luxury, theatre-hopped, hunted for ghosts, and honeymooned. Humorous, bittersweet, and wonderfully eccentric, this is a delightful remembrance to be savored by those who ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 8th 1994 by Ballantine Books (first published 1992)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about My Love Affair with England, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about My Love Affair with England

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,073)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Aug 18, 2011 Jaclyn rated it liked it
I picked up My Love Affair with England again recently, for what must be the umpteenth time, in preparation for my upcoming vacation. I first read this cheery travel memoir when I was in high school and had no chance whatsoever of going to England because my parents didn't have any desire to go. I've since read it many more times. I've become familiar with the stories that Susan Allen Toth tells about her favorite country, so that they almost feel like bedtime stories.

Travel memoirs walk a trick
Mar 16, 2013 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I haven't had so much fun since I went to England! Although I'm afraid no one else will really care much about this book unless they have spent time there.

I felt like Susan Allen Toth perfectly explained why someone can fall so in love with England and just itch to get back there again. I loved her descriptions of the gardens, the people, the funny quirks of the British, the manor houses . . . and although I will probably never be able to spend as much time there as she has, it reminded me of wh
Aug 16, 2016 Trelawn rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book. It was so relaxing reading about Toth's trips to various stately homes and churches, manicured gardens and untamed walkways. I think my main reason for enjoying this book is that Paul and I are planning to go back to London for our honeymoon next year. It's "our" place. Reading this book you realise that a large proportion of the joy Toth derives from her trips to England comes from the fact that she shares the experience with her husband, James. While her friends seem ...more
Nov 19, 2007 Kathryn rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who loves England and/or gardens
Shelves: non-fiction
Charming! Truly little vignettes of love for and about England, with some traveler's tips tossed in for good measure. Toth loves gardens and spends a great deal of time discussing them, and her section on Whinnie the Pooh's England was absolutely adorable! This added greatly to my joy and anticipation as I planned my trip to the UK!
Manik Sukoco
Jan 01, 2016 Manik Sukoco rated it really liked it
I enjoyed every scene in the book.
Actually the format of the book is a bit disjointed and jumps unexpectedly from one visit to another, not necessarily in chronological order. Also she digresses at times to give us a glimpse of her marriages and brief affairs. But instead of distracting from her narrative, these elements add interest, in my opinion. After all, she is describing a love affair, not offering a travel guide.
This certainly is not your usual travelogue featuring the most popular attra
Feb 10, 2016 Carmen rated it liked it
3.5 stars I'm reading two more of her books about England now. She provides so many useful insider's tips, particularly on gardens that shouldn't be missed (apparently there are thousands of those). I've found that she and I have completely opposite theories on the best way to pack for Europe, but I've decided not to dwell on that.
Sep 25, 2010 Amelmag rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I'm not sure how to accurately voice my feelings about this book. It was a fun read, given to me by my mother in preparation for my upcoming year in England. She thought I'd resonate with the author, who loves England for its literature and history. And I did. There were places where she came close to capturing what it is that so intoxicates me about the country of kings and poets, architects and scholars. But she also misses the mark, I think.

She is someone who likes to dabble in England, imag
We love
Feb 02, 2016 We love rated it liked it
I give this title about a 2.5 stars. I was disappointed because I had high hopes for it! The author was going through some hard things in her life and I think that came through too was sort of a depressing memoir. And yet, there were moments where she would explain beautiful scenery and experiences while visiting England that I really loved. I enjoyed her chapter on eating desserts especially! ;) I will be giving her other England memoirs a try though...
Dec 15, 2012 Liz rated it really liked it
I bought this little book at our library used book sale for $1.50 and have enjoyed it immensely. We just recently took our first trip to England and I was delighted to read about their adventures driving on narrow country roads as we had done! Really loved her insights and humor too. Wish I could visit this beautiful country as many times as she has, but maybe will get another trip in someday.
Joy Weese Moll
Feb 10, 2014 Joy Weese Moll rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Armchair Anglophiles and anyone who loves a beautifully-written travel memoir
My Love Affair with England is a loosely-joined, non-chronological, series of essays covering about thirty years of travel in England from 1960 to the early 1990s. The topics range from food and sheep dog trials to the theater and the royal family. As one could guess from the title, this is a romantic look at the country of Shakespeare’s theater, Wordsworth’s daffodils, and Austen’s Lyme Regis.

This is at least the third time I’ve read My Love Affair with England, even though I’m not usually a re
Jun 22, 2014 Em rated it it was amazing
Shelves: travelogue
The way Toth writes is so readable and evokes the imagery of what she’s describing. When she writes of English gardens, medieval churches, the wild coast line walks I was transported. Toth also writes of her native Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and how her love of England transforms her everyday life. She is often asked why if she loves England so she has not moved there permanently? But then she relays stories of the time she worked in London for seven months and was miserable. It had much to do w ...more
Nov 30, 2015 Rose rated it it was ok
This book was almost okay. I was quite disappointed in it. I wanted more of England and less of Susan Allen Toth's emotional life. Her enchantment with England seems to be dependent on her current emotional situation--happily single, unhappily married, unhappily divorced, happily married. Even in the happy times, though, she includes so many negative things about England that I wonder about her so-called love affair with the country.
Dec 13, 2014 Hope rated it liked it
I had hoped for travel tips, but, unfortunately, this is more of a memoir. The book dealt too much with her difficult marriage, problem students and her daughter’s very bad foreign exchange experience. Happily, her second book, England as You Like It, had more information about how to actually plan a trip to England.
Etta Mcquade
Apr 05, 2010 Etta Mcquade rated it liked it
Having been to England several times, I relished reading about the country from an intelligent American who had been there a lot. I particularly enjoyed the hilarious chapter of her going to England for the first time as a student in 1960 taking a six-week summer course entitled "English Art, Literature and Music 1660-1780." When the course was finished, she and another girl, also a student, hitchhiked around England, "because I knew my mother would not approve," she writes. (p. 58)

However, some
Aug 03, 2012 Lisa rated it it was ok
The book seemed to be interesting enough. I, too, keep returning to England to see the literary landmarks, museums, and castles. It was nice to recall my own memories and to nod in agreement to some of her observations. But it's a book so poorly constructed that I kept thinking I need to just type my travel journals and submit to a publisher. She had no objective or theme to hold this together as a book. There was no real purpose or meaning. The chapters were not in chronological order and the r ...more
Jun 29, 2012 bookinglibrarian rated it really liked it
An unexpectedly enchanting account of the author's travels in England, which was particuarly nostalgic for me as a long-time Anglophile whose first travel abroad experiences were there. I, too, learned how to easily navigate the city of London during my week-long high school theatre trip, and feeling that I was returning to an old friend when I came back a couple of years later. I now regret I haven't visited England nearly as often or a long as Susan Allen Toth has--for me, this great armchair ...more
Mar 23, 2014 Beverly rated it it was amazing
4 stars
Nov 16, 2010 Richelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: england-my-heart
I really enjoyed this book, but I would rate it more accurately 3.5 or 3.75 stars (for whatever that's worth). It was a little long and rambling at times. Toth is clearly passionate about the more traditional and classic elements of travel around England, which is nice to read, but I wonder if she is truly in touch with modern England. I didn't enjoy this book as much as "England for All Seasons," but anyone who is interested in England would certainly find pleasure in reading this book.
Apr 29, 2009 Meredith rated it really liked it
A friend let me borrow this book that she had placed on ILL since it's out of print and our library doesn't have it. I loved Toth's simple yet evocative language as she described travelling to England over the course of her life. I love travelling in England, and the city of London specifically holds a special place in my heart. I would caution that this book, though I loved it, might not appeal to readers who do not share my enthusiasm for all things English.
Rosemary Manthorpe
May 17, 2015 Rosemary Manthorpe rated it liked it
Read for a perspective of how American's view us here in England. A light and pleasant read with many shared experiences.
May 04, 2015 Terri rated it it was amazing
I just enjoyed the heck out of this book. I was in London, for the first time, last year and I cannot wait to go back! Ms. Toth is a kindred spirit. I enjoyed hearing the story of her many trips to Great Britain.

Amazingly, a few weeks back I was at a book sale at the library. This morning I was looking at the books I had picked up there and found England As you Like It a follow up from Susan Allen Toth! I cannot wait to get started on it.
Sep 28, 2011 Sue rated it really liked it
Good reading for commuting and escapism. The essays are different length, but generally short enough that you can finish one in a day's commute or one shorter bout of sitting. The author's love forEngland is almost palpable at time, but it doesn't make one retch, because it's an admiration and almost reflective celebration of different things all-English.... also, a couple of the essays definitively establish England as a vacation-only spot.
Sep 21, 2016 Heather rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful book. I began reading it while on vacation in London, and found myself constantly nodding in agreement with the author's sentiments. If you are an Anglophile like me, or just enjoy travel writing, I highly recommend this beautiful book.
Julie Davis
Mar 22, 2010 Julie Davis rated it liked it
#28 - 2010.

Rather a "forgotten classic" on my own shelves. Casting around for something light to read I came across this book which is truly a love letter to England. A very enjoyable travelogue/memoir, although I do wonder how she manages to find the money, not to mention the time, to do so much traveling abroad. Must be nice.
Jane Ellen
Apr 05, 2011 Jane Ellen rated it liked it
The frank and conversational style of Mrs. Toth, though not my preference, proved charming in this memoir detailing various encounters whilst visiting England. Offering some of the "real-life" experience for those of us unable to swim across the pond, Love Affair only increased my appetite for the Mother Country.
Aug 23, 2009 Jessica rated it it was amazing
As an anglophile I have found her memoirs/travelogues to be among the very best. I feel like she is my doppleganger, even to the fact of being married to men 15 yrs our senior. In any case, although the books are at least 10-15 years old, they still were quite topical and helpful for our 2009 trip to England.
Dec 06, 2011 Jenn rated it really liked it
Loved this! And now I desperately want to go back to England! Toth is a great writer - she really brings scenes and locations to life. Her love of the country - which is not always smooth sailing - shines through.

And I now have a list of places I must see next time I'm in England!
Catherine Adde
Sep 28, 2009 Catherine Adde rated it really liked it
Slightly dated, but still a favorite of mine: the author's answer to her friends who question her: why does she have to travel to England year after year, to the exclusion of most other places. Part biography, part travel memoir, well written and abouve all, FUN.
Linda Chudej
May 14, 2011 Linda Chudej rated it it was amazing
Shelves: england
Since I haven't been to England--yet--it's on my bucket list--I can't speak for the authenticity of this book but I know one thing for sure--I hope England's exactly like Ms. Toth describes it. I love her books for their vivid descriptions and humor.
Sep 18, 2007 Jennifer rated it liked it
Shelves: memoirs
I read this book right before I left for London for a semester abroad in college. It is a quaint set of essays by a Midwestern college professor regarding her travels in England, and it made me very excited to live in another country for a few months.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 35 36 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Brit-Think, Ameri-Think: A Transatlantic Survival Guide
  • Imagined London: A Tour of the World's Greatest Fictional City
  • A Yank Back to England: The Prodigal Tourist Returns
  • Continental Drifter
  • Rules, Britannia: An Insider's Guide to Life in the United Kingdom
  • The World of Venice: Revised Edition
  • A Fine Romance:  Falling in Love with the English Countryside (#3)
  • The Kingdom by the Sea
  • Stephen Fry Does "The Knowledge"
  • Sixpence House: Lost in a Town of Books
  • An Island Garden
  • Novel Destinations: Literary Landmarks From Jane Austen's Bath to Ernest Hemingway's Key West
  • Bad Trips
  • Majestie: The King Behind the King James Bible
  • The Anglo Files: A Field Guide to the British
  • Central Park: An Anthology
  • No Man's Lands: One Man's Odyssey Through The Odyssey
  • Lost & Found in Egypt: A Most Unlikely Journey Through the Shifting Sands of Love and Loss
Ms. Toth graduated from Smith College and Berkeley and received a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1969. She taught English at San Francisco State College and now teaches at Macalester College in Minnesota. Toth has contributed articles and stories to a wide range of magazines and newspapers. She has written two memoirs—Blooming: A Small Town Girlhood (1981) and Ivy Days: Making My Way Ou ...more
More about Susan Allen Toth...

Share This Book