COUNTRY CRAFTS OF ENGLAND
A Select Bibliography.
By Nick White, a member of The Tools And Trades History Society.
November 2015 – March 2016
Having acquired about a dozen books about country crafts in my library, I decided to make a list of the many crafts covered and index them to each book. So, for example, to look into “Chair Bodging” one would know where to look without scanning the index of every book.
This led me to look at the bibliographies in the books I had (those that had one). A number of new titles that I had not got came to light. A quick visit to www.abebooks.co.uk (see appendix 4) produced another half dozen “must haves” which I ordered. The bibliographies in these led to a few more! George Nicolle’s excellent Bibliography of the Woodworking Trades (1993) produced several more. I now have thirty seven titles which seems to cover most published since the war, the majority from the 1940’s to the 1980’s. There are also a few earlier ones included.
This expanded my list considerably and I decided to create a bibliography of my own. Some of these titles are mentioned in Nicolle and I have given his reference number where applicable.
I have kept to country crafts and not covered town-based industries such as fashion, clothing, glove and hat making, cabinet making, silver- and gold smiths, musical instruments, clock making, stained glass, book binding, etc. although some of these books do refer to them. The building trades would also require a much larger and separate work. I have identified sixty five crafts in all.
This sort of exercise cannot be exhaustive, and I have not indexed a relevant word or sentence in a chapter about something else. Only those entries with several paragraphs or pages on the subject are included, and I’ve probably missed a few!
The books included cover a range of crafts so books on a single subject such as George Sturt, The Wheelwrights Shop or Mary Butcher, Willow Work are not included.
Four books stand out as comprehensively covering a wide range of crafts and their tools with excellent illustrations. These are J. G. Jenkins , Traditional Country Craftsmen (7), John Seymour, The Forgotten Arts (13), James Arnold, The Countryman’s Workshop (5).and The Shell Book of Country Crafts (6).
For social history I would pick Walter Rose, The Village Carpenter (22) and Freda Derrick, Country Craftsmen (19).
Percy Blandford, Country Craft Tools (1) covers a wide range of tools, albeit rather basically, but it is a good book to start with.
I have not included TATHS Journals or Newsletters as these are already well indexed.
The Bibliography can be found here: Country Crafts of England
By their nature, bibliographies are never complete and I would welcome additons, comments or corrections. You can send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the comment box below.
Nick White 2016