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The Pattern Under the Plough by George Ewart Evans


The Pattern Under the Plough by George Ewart Evans

Following his two classics, Ask the Fellows Who Cut the Hay and The Horse in the Furrow, renowned oral historian George Ewart Evans continues his study of the vanishing customs, working habits and rich language of the farming communities of East Anglia with The Pattern Under the Plough (Faber, 1966). Although based on East Anglia, this book was and remains of wider interest, for - as the author pointed out at the time - similar changes were occurring in North America, and also happening with remarkable speed in Africa.In chronicling the old culture George Ewart Evans has taken its two chief aspects, the home and the farm. He describes the house with its fascinating constructional details, the magic invoked for its protection, the mystique of the hearth, the link of the bees with the people of the house, and some of their fears and pre-occupations. Among the chapters on the farm is one of Evans's most original pieces of research: the description of the secret horse societies. Beautifully illustrated by David Gentleman, this book is important not only for the material it reveals about the past but for the implications for present-day society.'As real (and as valuable) as the evidence unearthed by the spadework of archaeology.' Observer

About the Author

Born in the mining town of Abercynon, South Wales, George Ewart Evans (1909-88) was a pioneering oral historian. In 1948 he settled with his family in Blaxhall, Suffolk, and through conversing with his neighbours he developed an interest in their dialect and the aspects of rural life which they described. Many were agricultural labourers, born before the turn of the century, who had worked on farms before the arrival of mechanisation. With the assistance of a tape recorder he collected oral evidence of the dialect, rural customs, traditions and folklore throughout East Anglia, and this work, reinforced by documental research, provided the background for his renowned East Anglian books.

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Book Info

Publication date

29th May 2008


George Ewart Evans

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Faber & Faber


270 pages





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