Author(s): Una McGovern
navigating by the stars / thatching charcoal burning / maze laying / making candles making besom brooms / making cider blacksmithing / haymaking / using herbal remediesLost Crafts is an attractive and engaging introduction to a range of traditional and sustainable crafts, activities and pastimes. Around 100 traditional pursuits are described and illustrated, from whittling to spinning, beekeeping to dry-stone walling, lace-making to trout guddling.Whether seeking instruction or inspiration, interested in social history or simply curling up in an armchair and daydreaming, the reader will find Lost Crafts to be a fascinating treasury of pastimes from a bygone age. And, as awareness grows of our environmental footprints, these sustainable pursuits are increasingly relevant to the modern world.
A fascinating book which will inspire everyone, whether as a practical guide or just a brilliant read. There are things here which I have always wanted to try out - and now I can! -- Miranda Krestovnikoff, presenter of BBC's Coast A wonderfully informative catalogue of the kind of knowledge we are losing but would be wise to preserve. -- Zac Goldsmith, environmentalist This is a great book which everyone should read. Although some of these crafts may be associated with a bygone era, they are as relevant today as they have ever been and there is something for everyone to learn. Hours of amusement! -- Jimmy Doherty, presenter of BBC's Jimmy Doherty's Farming Heroes 20081106 It's a treasure... a lovely book, full of fascinating information and useful advice. Splendid on hedge-laying -- I am now hooked on Hooper's hedge hypothesis -- and on threatening an unproductive fruit tree with an axe. However, I am worried that each time I pick it up it falls open at 'Milking a cow'. I have no cow: is the book trying to tell me something? -- Adam Hart-Davis, writer and broadcaster 20081119 A blend of social history and practical instruction, this handsome book will have youcoopering, whittling and smocking in no time. McGovern makes the dream of never shopping again seem like a reality, and teaches a sobering lesson about the extent to which, until recently, the things we had were made by us or by people we knew, so we valued them more and wasted them less. -- Melissa Katsoulis, The Times Christmas Books 2008: Back to basics, The Times 20081128 From arts to crafts, here's a perfect Christmas present for the credit crunch. Una McGovern's Lost Crafts: Rediscovering Traditional Skills is a serious book telling you how to set about all those things you have been paying other people to do, such as beekeeping, coppicing, milking a cow, skinning rabbits, pickling, smoking and making cider, lemonade, butter, cheese, jam and marmalade.Of course, most of these are easier done in the country than the inner city, including foraging for wild food - berries, nuts and mushrooms. You are advised to pick black-berries before September 29 because that is when the devil is supposed to urinate on them. On reflection, choose recipients of this present carefully. -- Christopher Hudson, The Daily Mail "The pictures worth 1,000 words: Illustrated Books Round Up" 20081212 In an era when we are re-thinking our habits because of the rising costs of food and fuel, a revival of traditional ways of life has perhaps never been so relevant. -- The Scots Magazine 20090201 Beautifully illustrated, this is a timely publication as more of us are looking to relearn the simple, practical skills that will help us towards more sustainable living. -- Devon Life 20081201 A delightful new book -- Geoff Ward, Mysterious West Podcast Week 75, Western Daily Press 20081201
Una McGovern is a freelance editor and writer, with books on a wide range of subjects to her name. She spent many years making regular forays from Edinburgh to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, before a return to rural Devon brought with it the opportunity to develop an organic kitchen garden, complete with traditional breed chickens. She now lives with her partner in a small Dartmoor town.