In his latest book of essays Karl Miller turns his attention to appreciate certain writers of the English-speaking modern world. A new ruralism has come to notice in this country, and the book is drawn to country lives as they have figured in the literature of the last century. An introductory essay is centred on the Anglo-Welsh borderlands. Journeys taken with Seamus Heaney and Andrew O'Hagan to this countryside, and others, are threaded throughout the book. The poets Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes are discussed, together with the fiction of Ian McEwan, the Canadian writer Alistair Macleod, the Irish writer John McGahern and the Baltimorean Anne Tyler. Scotland is a preoccupation of the later pieces, including the letters of Henry Cockburn, a lifelong interest of the author, who is also interested here in foxes and their current metropolitan profile.