George Ewart Evans, who wrote the classic Ask the Fellows Who Cut the Hay, was one of the pioneers of oral history. This anthology is drawn from his writings about the memories of men and women of a past era - farm labourers, shepherds, horsemen, blacksmiths, wheelwrights, sailors, fisherman, miners, maltsters, domestic servants and many others. The anthology is edited and includes drawings by David Gentleman.
'A pleasure to look at and a delight to read . . . A treasury of country folklore in words and pictures, and a monument to a great and pioneering man . . . It is right that the past should be heard of in the words of those who lived it . . . Those who actually cut the hay.' Daily Telegraph
Born in the mining town of Abercynon, South Wales, George Ewart Evans (1909-88) was a pioneering oral historian. In 1948 he settled with his family in Blaxhall, Suffolk, and through conversing with his neighbours he developed an interest in their dialect and the aspects of rural life which they described. Many were agricultural labourers, born before the turn of the century, who had worked on farms before the arrival of mechanisation. With the assistance of a tape recorder he collected oral evidence of the dialect, rural customs, traditions and folklore throughout East Anglia, and this work, reinforced by documental research, provided the background for his renowned East Anglian books.