Haggard, H. Rider
A Farmer's Year, Being His Commonplace Book for 1898
Seller ID: 1164
London: Longman's, Green, 1899. First edition (xx, 489) with 2 maps and 36 full-page illustrations by G. Leon Little. Card from The Atheneum signed by Haggard, dated 25 April 1921 ('Faithfully yours/ H. Rider Haggard') inserted. Octavo in blue publisher's cloth, gilt titles and decoration. H. S. F. Jebb's copy with his bookplate and Christmas greetings from 'Florrie' (quite possibly Florence Lady Bell-- social reformer and author of a study of Middlesbrough, 1907). Edges rubbed, occasional light foxing. After the death of his son in 1891, Haggard withdrew from public life for a while. Eventually, however, he recovered sufficiently to stand (unsuccessfully) for Parliament in East Norfolk, but pushed on, eager 'to do something...more practical than the mere invention of romance upon romance'(Cohen, 158). To that end he addressed himself to the desperate state of farming in England and kept a diary for 1898, published as A Farmer's Year (1899), becoming in the process something of an agricultural authority and expert on rural affairs. "In 1901 and 1902 he travelled throughout England and Wales and wrote articles for the Daily Express on agricultural conditions. The result was Rural England (2 vols., 1902), a survey that depicted the wretched condition of farming in England and proposed reforms. Later he went on to publish A Gardener's Year (1905) and Rural Denmark and Its Lessons (1911), a survey of co-operative farming which he held up as a model for England to adopt" (ODNB).
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