Here you will find all things rural, from profiles of great farmers through history, like Thomas Coke and King George III, to snippets about wood-burning stoves, vermin control, hedge-laying and wild cat sightings. Readers with a schoolboy mentality will enjoy pieces on blowing up wasp nests, how to get fish drunk and rules for conducting a proper snowball fight. Other gems include advice on how to trap magpies with a dead cat, a catalogue of racing trainers’ excuses and an inventory of wines that no self-respecting country house cellar should be without.
Packed with a gloriously random selection of rustic ephemera, this beautifully produced volume is the perfect gift for the countryman with an enquiring mind and a sense of humour.
Peter Holt is a former Fleet Street gossip columnist who spent much of his career writing a rock music column for the London Evening Standard during the 1980s. These day he manages his family property in Shropshire.