This is a portrait of a village, "or rather, an epitome of some of the villages of North West Wiltshire", and the authors ask us to regard it as fiction rather than as local history. It is their attempt to distil the essence of the local villages and present it to us as a coherent tale, rather than an academic study. It was first published in 1939 and is one of a number of similar books which record a rural world the authors realise is about to vanish. It is a mixture of crafts, social history and natural history, the tales alive with the charcters of the Tanner's fictional but representative cast list.
As such it is well-written, with a wistfulness but without irritating whimsy. One of the main reasons for buying the book, for me, was the series of pen-and-ink drawings, and the six etchings, by Robin Tanner. Influenced by F.L.Griggs (see the excellent new F. L. Griggs: The Architecture of Dreams
), his work has a delicacy and atmosphere that suit the text very well.