256 pages, 20 illustrations
An Historical Dictionary of Forestry & Woodland Terms describes the special words used by those working or hunting in England's woodlands and forests from the early Middle Ages until the present. The author does not simply give the meanings of words: he describes the customs and practices to which they refer, and frequently adds quotations from contemporary sources, the latter ranging from medieval royal charters and Shakespeare's As You Like It to such books as Taylor's Common Good or the Emprovements of Commons (1652), John Evelyn's Sylva (1664) and Jefferies's Wildlife in a Southern County (1879).
From An Historical Dictionary of Forestry & Woodland Terms the reader will not only learn the meaning of such terms as pismires, perambulation, furlong and quaking ash, but will find brief histories of the forest courts of the Middle Ages, and the lawing of dogs. Long entries describe such complex procedures as bark-stripping, dishing and dressing, and the care and exploitation of coppice. Many words and practices described here survived until the recent past and some are still in use today.
This unique book will be welcomed by everyone interested in the history of English rural life in which woodlands and forests have played, over the centuries, such a vital role. The entries are fully referenced and illustrated where appropriate with line drawings.
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N.D.G. James, OBE, Mc, has been a Fellow of Corpus Christi College and subsequently of Brasenose College, Oxford, and also Land Agent to the Oxford University Chest. From 1961 to 1976 he was Agent for the Clinton Devon Estates. He has been President of the Land Agents' Society and of the Royal Forestry Society. Over the last fifty years he has published extensively in the fields of forestry and its history, and is currently working on a history of the English Oak. His previous books include A History of English Forestry, The Forester's Companion and The Arboriculturalist's Companion.