A compilations of A Return To Loveliness posts from A Delight Life.

Cotswolds Cozy

The March issues of Victoria Magazine celebrate England – 
its countryside, its style and more.
In the 1998 March issue you will find an article on furniture inspired 
by the lifestyle in the countryside of England, Cotswolds.

The descriptions of the homes, people and 
countryside of Cotswolds is
perfectly idyllic.

Some two hours’ drive east of London, one comes upon golden-hued villages cupped in the green hands of the hills, each with its ancient church tower. This ist the Cotswolds region, where cottage doorways are a tangle of roses, and within, one can sink into furnishings as amply welcoming as these—
a return to a timeless English comforts”. Mary Forsell

Books and pictures were everywhere, patterned china ewers filled with dried flowers. Photographs, ornaments, small items…covered every horizontal surface”. Rosamund Pilcher, The Shell Seekers

Nowhere else is there such a sense of tranquility” Julain Thompson – furniture designer for the Cotswolds Collection for Highland House is quoted as saying.
According to the Victoria magazine article, due to the dark English winters, the walls in these cottages were typically whitewashed to reflect light. Also, ‘nature has a way of crowding in too. A butterfly collection gathered by a Victorian ancestor, a sprig of herbs enbcouraged in a warm corner, play their role in the artless decoration. For what cheers and comforts has its own dateless style—and a gift for fitting in, like an old stone dwelling on a hillside that greens anew each spring' Forsell.

Portions of Rosamund Pilcher’s novel, The Shell Seekers is set in Cotswolds.

Happiness is making the most of what you have, and riches
 is making the most of what you've got.” Rosamuld Pilcher, The Shell Seekers.

Cotswold also appears as a central character in stories written by 
a number of authors, some mysteries.

“Miss Read” has set a whole series of novels, The Thrush Green books which are set in a fictional village in Cotswolds. These stories relay a clear picture of the life of those living in Cotswolds – seemingly as they have for decades.

Reportedly ‘semi-autobiographical’ books by Nancy Mitford, such as 
Love in a Cold Climate’ are well written with a wry sense of humor.

Also Joanna Trollope novels are said to be set in the smaller villages in the  Cotswolds. These stories are said to be ‘unique and interesting…as well as intriguing because of their British setting’.

Apparently, there are the Mary Russell Mysteries, stories set in the countryside. 
Mary Russell is said to have been the wife of Sherlock Holmes! 
These stories are written by Laurie R. King.

Even Agatha Christie set her Miss Marple books in the 
Cotswolds village of St. Mary Meade.

Also there is Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee – stories set depicting the author’s childhood including some of the darker side of rural living. A movie was made with the same title.

Other authors who base their stories in the Cotswolds include:
Anne Granger – Meredith Mitchell series;
Patricia Harwin's series of Far Wychwood mysteries;
Fiona Mountain has chosen for her sleuth, Natasha Blake;
M.C.Beaton's brisk and aggravating middle-aged sleuth Agatha Raisin;
Rebecca Tope's Cotswolds Mysteries;
Melissa Craig, creation of author Betty Rowlands;
Edward Marston's historical mystery The Owls of Gloucester set in the 11th century;
Rosemary Rowe's beguiling series set in Roman Britain;
Freda Davies's detective Keith Tyrell

I am fascinated by all I have found of this romantic sounding place – with names of villages such as Bourton-on-Water, Chipping Campden, Stow-on-the-Wold and more. There does seem to be a sense of mystery and magic in these names and the descriptions of the ‘honey colored limestone villages of Cotswolds.
here no one is ever too busy to chat and perhaps to invite you in for buns and tea” In a place where – nothing seems to have changed – where sheep remain the main economy of the countryside and chickens still roam through the gardens and into the kitchens.

Idyllic. Completely idyllic. I plan to find one of these books and travel through my imagination and look to my home to see if I can bring a sense of the tranquility of Cotswolds into the décor.