Though this version was published in 1981, opening it you could be forgiven for thinking it was twenty years earlier. I do not think we ever see the face that goes with the gnarled pair of hands (wrists clad in thick handknitted sweater), which demonstrate, in over 200 black-and-white photos, "smoothing the surface of the potting compost" and "celery seedlings are being pricked out in a seed tray", the planting of asparagus crowns or thinning of lettuces. Yet these drab, workmanlike step-by-step pictures are actually incredibly useful. The text is equally detailed, equally businesslike, equally old-fashioned.
If you want to grow vegetables properly, recognise pests, prepare the soil and generally do everything like an old-fashioned head gardener, you'll find the necessary information in here. Other, flashier books, bursting with colour pictures and implying it is all easy and fun, have been published since, many of them by the RHS. The current craze for allotments has led to the publication of a flurry of titles, not all of them good. This is still the "bible" of vegetable growing; like the original bible, it is hard going, the print is small, the language sometimes difficult. If you want something easier to follow, but still with the technical stuff, try The Vegetable & Herb Expert: The world's best-selling book on vegetables & herbs, which is certainly easy to use. I would still suggest it is worth having this book for the times when the simpler "Expert" lets you down.