Now, the much-loved characters in Annie Tempest’s Tottering-by-Gently cartoon strip, created especially for this magazine and based on her family home, Broughton Hall in Yorkshire- her father, Henry Tempest, is the genial, blazer-clad Dicky Tottering -can be found on the walls of Boodles, Pratt’s, numerous country pubs, country-house cloakrooms and the Muthaiga Country Club in Nairobi. ‘Annie Tempest is the reason that most people read magazines backwards,’ wrote the Duke of Devonshire in 2007.
In January 1994, art dealer Raymond O’Shea won a subscription to COUNTRY LIFE, and he was soon hooked on Tottering, giving up his career to look after the franchise.
‘From inter-generational tensions and the differing perspectives of men and women to field sports, diet, ageing, gardening, fashion, food, convention and much, much more-she’s commented on them all,’ he says.
The new book, Tottering-by-Gently: The First 20 Years (Frances Lincoln) costs £25 (01732 866041; www.tottering.com).