Book Reviews

As I discover new books, or reviews thereof, I will add a link from this page.

Men of Iron (The Fussells of Mells) by Robin Thornes, Frome Society for Local Studies, 2010. The review below was written by me for the TATHS newsletter. Recommended reading for anyone interested in the history of edge tool making.

Men Of Iron - review.docx
Microsoft Word document [12.4 KB]

Early European Decorated Tools by Jonathan Green-Plumb - April 2012. Travel for the research was funded by a Salaman Award research grant from TATHS. The publication date had been postponed since October 2011 - variously due out 9th January, 28th February, finally arrived towards the end of April. An excellent book, well illustrated and meticuously researched. A worthy addition to any library on old tools - sadly no decorated billhooks are shown...

Tales from the Toolshed - The History and Use of Fifty Garden Tools, Bill Maws, published by the RHS, 2014. Overall a useful guide to the tools of the gardener, but a few errors as far as billhooks are concerned. It is stated that the billhook is more often found as often in the hands of the butcher than the gardener - some confusion between the billhook and the meat cleaver. Little mention of its smaller cousin, the pruning hook, a tool used for all aspects of pruning, and harvesting of some fruits, until the secateur was invented circa 1830. He does mention the budding knife, but illustrates it with a pruning hook, that is more likely to be a linoleum knife... Despite the few inaccuracies, a welcome addition to the bookshelves..