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This enthralling book will take you, month-by-month, day-by-day, through all the festivities of English life. From national celebrations such as New Year’s Eve to regional customs such as the Padstow Hobby Horse procession, cheese rolling in Gloucestershire and Easter Monday bottle kicking in Leeds, it explains how they originated, what they mean and when they occur. A fascinating guide to the richness of our heritage and the sometimes eccentric nature of life in England, The English Year offers a unique chronological view of our social customs and attitudes
‘Hard is his heart that loveth naught in May.’ Geoffrey Chaucer 12 June: ‘Male glow-worms, attracted by the light of the candles, come into the parlour. The distant hills look very blue.’ Gilbert White, 1791 Join some of England’s best-loved writers in this day-by-day celebration of an English year, from the frosty mornings of January through to the buds of spring and blooms of summer, from the autumn harvest to the festivities of Christmas. Diary entries by literary figures such as Gilbert White, Dorothy Wordsworth and Thomas Hardy guide us through the year, accompanied by poems and quotations celebrating the changing seasons.
Shortlisted for the Katharine Briggs Folklore Award and runner-up for Countryfile Book of the Year. For millennia, the passing seasons and their rhythms have marked our progress through the year. But what do they mean to us now that we lead increasingly atomised and urban lives and our weather becomes ever more unpredictable or extreme? In this splendidly rich and lyrical celebration of the English seasons, Nick Groom investigates the trove of strange folklore and often stranger fact they have accumulated over the centuries and shows how tradition and our links with nature still have a vital role to play in all our lives.
From the author of Cider With Rosie, Village Christmas is a moving, lyrical portrait of England through the changing years and seasons. Laurie Lee left his childhood home in the Cotswolds when he was nineteen, but it remained with him throughout his life until, many years later, he returned for good. This collection brings to life the sights, sounds, landscapes and traditions of his home - from centuries-old May Day rituals to his own patch of garden, from carol singing in crunching snow to pub conversations and songs. Here too he writes about the mysteries of love, living in wartime Chelsea, Winston Churchill's wintry funeral and his battle, in old age, to save his beloved Slad Valley from developers. Told with a warm sense of humour and a powerful sense of history, Village Christmas brings us a picture of a vanished world.
This is a new release of the original 1954 edition.

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