Excellent Essex In praise of England’s most misunderstood county

Old Street Publishing 2019
Hardcover ISBN 978-1910400678
Available to pre-order from Amazon.

‘Darley illuminates the landscape and its inhabitants, revealing how generations of people wanting to escape social conventions and limitations have been drawn to those vast, open horizons. The book is as thrillingly eclectic as Essex itself.
Francis Wheen

‘A delightful new biography of Essex… akin to barrelling through Essex lanes in an open-topped sports car while Darley swigs from a hip flask yelling “Ask me anything”‘

‘Those who think Essex is boring would require only one or two chapters of [Excellent Essex] to tell them how wrong they are… Darley has a fine sense of history and an appreciation of architecture and landscape, and all this comes through in her fact-packed and often entertaining book, which succeeds in making one believe that Essex really is a special and unusual place
The Spectator

‘A loving treatment of a slice of England made schizophrenic by the “pull and push” of London … [Essex] will now be a little less misunderstood
Literary Review

‘A sort of revelation… a generally stellar performance
Jonathan Meades, History Today

‘An omnivorous miscellany: a gathering of vastly diverse anecdotes, observations and historical footnotes, hung together in a delightfully token attempt at categorisation and order… A pleasure to read
Architecture Today