The Mary Rose, an Elizabethan warship, is raised from the seabed in an operation which becomes a national obsession. A senior politician wears a duffel coat at the Cenotaph and provokes a national scandal. An elderly lady whose house is scheduled for demolition moves it, piece by piece, to the other side of the country. This remarkable book draws together such apparently disparate events as examples of how, for ordinary people, history lives not as something abstract but as a tangible sense of the past permeating everyday life. On Living in an Old Country has generated a new awareness of the issues surrounding conservation, transforming our understanding of historical experience and its role in contemporary Britain.