This book should be read by everyone as it presents a detailed account of how we lived pre-Industrial Revolution and, as such, should stimulate important questions about the way we live today. Lacking are the sugary stories of the TV series, and there is no soft-focus romanticism. The grinding poverty and realities of country living without modern comforts are offset by a strong sense of community, and the author observes how much happier people were then. This book holds a mirror up to the materialistic and dehumanising values of the 21st Century. The support for one another and shared experiences made me envious; the closeness with the cycles of nature emphases how cut-off from this we are today. I was surprised to read that there were no health problems - apart from childbirth and accidents, no degenerative diseases, no viruses, etc., and this was obviously due to eating a diet based on home-grown produce and arduous outdoor physical labour. Older people did develop arthritis but this was after a lifetime of working in the cold and damp. This book is relevant to the problems we face today, and for those of us seeking to return to a more self-sufficient lifestyle, it helps remind us of how unnaturally we live now, how dissatisfied we are and how false our values.