Caroline Foley has published a number of books providing information and planting guides for the allotment gardener. ‘Of Cabbages and Kings – the History of Allotments’ is her latest book, due to be published by Frances Lincoln on 4 September 2014.
This is a fascinating history book charting medieval Britain, Serfs and the roots of common land and growing our own food from 1066 to 1349 through to modern day allotments and the problems we have now with space and priorities of Local Government of allotments over the needs for housing and business.
This well researched book takes us through the Great Famine (1315-1317), The Peasants’ Revolt of 1381, the Agricultural Revolution and the Swing Riots of 1830. We are told about The Second Allotment Movement of the mid-nineteenth century and the chapter entitled ‘Digging for Victory 1939-1945 is of particular interest in this year of remembrance of World War One.
It is well laid out with clear subheadings and side headings in the margins for historical events, making it an easy book for reference. This book is made all the more interesting with historical cartoons, pictures and photographs as well as interesting facts. Did you know in 1999 “The Land is Ours” activists laid a plaque on St Georges Hill in Surrey to commemorate the True Levellers who started to grow vegetables on that spot 350 years ago?
When you read ‘Of Cabbages and Kings – The History of Allotments‘ it strikes you how very important it is to fight to keep hold of the allotments we have.
Caroline Foley finishes her book by saying:
“… if a strip on the common had not been a matter of life and death for the medieval serf we would not be enjoying them [allotments] today…Remembering the struggle it took over centuries to win them makes them even more precious.”
To win a copy of this book please leave a comment together with your email address and I will pick a name out of the hat on Wednesday 10 September. I am afraid this book give away is open to UK readers only.