The astonishing, socio-historic uncovering of a vanished agricultural way of life by best-selling nature writer Sally Coulthard.
Dominating the farmyard of the house where Sally Coulthard and her husband live in the gentle Howardian Hills of North Yorkshire is a large, stone-built barn. When Sally discovered a set of ancient 'witch-marks' scratched into the wall of the barn, she became intrigued by the sturdy old building and the story behind it.
The Barn is hence a socio-historic exploration of a small patch of Yorkshire countryside – hidden, insignificant, invisible to the rest of the world – which has experienced extraordinary changes. From the last of the enclosures to the boom days of Victorian high farming, the fortunes of the barn have been repeatedly upturned by the unstoppable forces of agriculture and industry. Medicine, transport, education, farming, women's roles, war, technology – every facet of society was played out, in miniature, here. The walls of the barn are a palimpsest, written onto – and now about – by three hundred years of history.
'This book deserves a place in your bookcase next to Harari's Sapiens. It's every bit as fascinating and is surely destined to be just as successful' Julian Norton (on A Short History of the World According to Sheep).
'Sally Coulthard's story of how sheep shaped the human story is full of rich pickings ... Coulthard weaves together a detailed story that is full of fascinating social history' Independent (on A Short History of the World According to Sheep).
'I thought I knew quite a bit about earthworms – until I picked up this charming little book ... This is an easily digestible compendium of everything earthworm' Nick Baker (on The Book of the Earthworm).
'This engaging study of the much-loved prickly mammals is not just a celebration of these enigmatic creatures, but also a timely alarm bell about their shrinking numbers' The Lady (on The Hedgehog Handbook).
'A useful and beautiful gift ... Full of fascinating facts' Yorkshire Post (on The Bee Bible)