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Counting Sheep By Philip Walling

Counting Sheep

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Counting Sheep Summary

Counting Sheep: A Celebration of the Pastoral Heritage of Britain by Philip Walling

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 sheep.

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Counting Sheep Reviews

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 Telegraph *

About Philip Walling

Philip Walling started out farming in Cumbria, then trained as a barrister and practised for twenty-five years, before turning to writing. From the law he brings learning and rigour, while his roots in the land give him a passion for and deep understanding of the landscape and people of rural England - a combination which lends a unique perspective to his work. He now lives in Northumberland.

Additional information

Counting Sheep: A Celebration of the Pastoral Heritage of Britain by Philip Walling
Philip Walling
Used - Very Good
Profile Books Ltd
Long-listed for Wainwright Prize 2015 (UK)
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.