Counting Sheep

Counting Sheep : A Celebration of the Pastoral Heritage of Britain

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Sheep are the thread that runs through the history of the English countryside. Our fortunes were once founded on sheep, and this book tells a story of wool and money and history, of merchants and farmers and shepherds, of English yeomen and how they got their freedom, and above all, of the soil. Sheep have helped define our culture and topography, impacting on everything from accent and idiom, architecture, roads and waterways, to social progression and wealth. With his eye for the idiosyncratic, Philip meets the native breeds that thrive in this country; he tells stories about each breed, meets their shepherds and owners, learns about their past - and confronts the present realities of sheep farming. Along the way, Philip meets the people of the countryside and their many professions: the mole-catchers, the stick-makers, the tobacco-twisters and clog-wrights. He explores this artisan heritage as he re-discovers the countryside, and finds a lifestyle parallel to modern existence, struggling to remain unchanged - and at its heart, always more

Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 144 x 222 x 29mm | 447g
  • Profile Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Integrated
  • 1846685044
  • 9781846685040
  • 285,626

About Philip Walling

Philip Walling started life as a sheep farmer, then became a barrister for the next thirty years, and has now decided to pay homage to his farming roots. He lives in Northumberlandshow more

Review quote

Jacobs are yet another breed supposed to have swum ashore from a wrecked ship, this time a Spanish galleon in 1588. These were gentlemen's sheep, and commercial farmers would be disdainful of their being kept as ornaments with no concern for profit. To their gentle owners they were living lawn mowers that bred their own replacements and needed no fuel. But to a working farmer they were (and still are) little better than goats, and a damned nuisance. From Counting Sheep Philip Walling has written a fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable account of this shared history... after reading this book you may look at a sheep, or a roast lamb, or a tweed jacket, with the glimmerings of a new appreciation.' -- Angus Clarke The Times Delightful ... Counting Sheep deserves its place on the bookshelf of any lover of the countryside. -- Horatio Clare Daily Telegraphshow more