256 pages, b/w illustrations
The Keen Countryman's Miscellany is a selection of entries on everything that the true countryman – or woman – would like to know. 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 trainer's 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.
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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 days he manages his family property in Shropshire.