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The History and Virtues of Cyder Paperback – 30 Sep 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Robert Hale Ltd (30 Sept. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0709091222
  • ISBN-13: 978-0709091226
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 1.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 943,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Roger French studied zoology at St Catherine's College, Oxford and took a D.Phil. in the history of science, working on medicine in the eighteenth century. He was a lecturer in the history of science at the Universities of Leicester and Aberdeen and lecturer and Director of the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine at the University of Cambridge. This book is the result of a combination of academic research and practical experience: Roger bought a cide-mill cottage in the 1960s where he made, and drank, a great deal of cider, recovering centuries-old techniques and preserving old varieties of cider fruit. He died in 2002.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By T.R.OLIVER on 17 Oct. 2010
Format: Paperback
At one stage this was about the only book published over a 30 year period on cider. It is a fascinating discourse on cider and related topics and angles. Roger French practiced what he preached and was a big influence on my desire to make an English Bottle Conditioned cider. His conditioned Kingston Black from the Checkley cellar under the kitchen is still a landmark cider experience for me.
Tom Oliver from Oliver's Cider & Pery
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Format: Paperback
We are all too familiar with mass-produced, bland cider, but cyder (note the spelling) is a subtle, mature drink, and at its height in the seventeenth century it was seen more as a table wine than a long drink. But in the eighteenth century this cottage industry was taken over by cider merchants who bought the apple juice, not the final product, and, as author R K French explains, "practised all manner of sophistications on it to obtain as much of the final drink from as little of the juice as possible".

French argues that it is time for a renaissance in cyder, and takes the potential cyder-maker through all the necessary stages from planting and pressing to laying down the first vintage. A glossary explains how the cyder-maker pothers his apples with a panking-pole and storing them in tumps, ensuring that the fruit becomes daddicky, dotey or mosey.

With this book to hand and a little patience, a new breed of cyder-makers might once again be able to stand in the open round a roaring fire to celebrate the ancient custom of 'Hulloa Old Cyder'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jonski on 23 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback
Anyone looking to understand the impact cider has had on the UK landscape should start with this book. It's a comprehensive journey through the rise and fall of cider throughout the ages whilst still managing to fit in practical advice for both beginner and advanced traditional cider makers. Essential reading for anyone interested in real cider.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Nice read on the cyder. 16 Oct. 2006
By Bill Juniper - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
A well thought out and very readable book on cyder. Nicely illustrated and obviously well researched the author does a fine job. Also try Old Southern Apples by McDonal, and Story of the Apple by Juniper.

Nice job.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
best cider book i've read 20 Jan. 2011
By billyb - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
of all the cider books i have read (loads) this is the one i enjoyed the most, it goes back further in the historical roots of cider as we know it these days. do yourself a favour and pick a copy up, cheap as chips and really informative.
Good information, but "cyder"? Really? 27 Feb. 2015
By Leon Baradat - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have an older (1982) edition of the book. It gives a lot of good information about cider and apples, but his insistence on using the archaic spelling "cyder" is grating. He uses it to indicate full-on traditional ciders as they used to be made, and he uses the modern spelling for anything else, including the sweet modern ciders that are so common today, especially in the States. One thing in particular rubbed me the wrong way: he explains all this, and says this cyder/cider thing is a distinction he's made, but he says (paraphrasing), "that's the *correct* way to distinguish them", as if he were an authority on the English language.

The very first sentence in the Introduction is "Cyder is no longer made." Oh please, hyperbole much? You get the impression from his detailed information that it must still be made somewhere, in some quantity, otherwise it would read more like a historical re-creation from source documents and less like "here's how to get involved in this exciting revival that's going on".

Not that I can't get behind a movement to bring back traditional craft brewing/vinting techniques; I'm a home brewer of ales and meads myself. If he had talked about "real cider" versus "common cider" or whatever it would've been fine, but his insistence on "cyder" sounds stuffy and pedantic.

Also, as a technical point, the binding on my copy is pretty fragile. Hopefully the 1990 edition has a higher quality binding (though the 1982 cover is much more interesting, I think).
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