This is a very informative and useful book for anybody with more than a very cursory interest in apples - invaluable to the enthusiast and apple grower. Fascinating chapters on the historical aspects of the apple tracing the story of the fruit from the Garden of Eden. The section from the Tudor period onward to our modern day apple is especially readable and the history of cider in Britain, America and France is informative. The Directory which occupies more than half of the work is the main reason I want it on my reference shelves covering some 2000. It begins with explaining characters used to identify the fruit and flavour , pollination and picking are covered. There is useful information on introduction and parentage but some lack any description of the actual fruit perhaps because they are not well know in the UK. Nonetheless this is a splendid work packed with information and strongly recommended.
I have not found a better book for those interested in apples in the UK. There is an excellent potted history, plus details of many apples varieties local and foreign. A brief guide to growing apples at the back tells you most of what you know to start a small orchard. The descriptions of the apple varieties are what makes this book outstanding. They include details of history, appearance, flavour, shape and so on - enough not only to help identify and apple, but also to help you choose one to grow. For instance, the entry on Ashmead's Kernel gives a brief decription of its development by a Gloucester physician, describes its taste as "strong, sweet-sharp intese flavour reminiscent of fruit or acid drops", talks a bit about what it's grown for, comprehensive details of appearance, picking and storage dates. There is also a drawing to help in identification. The one downfall of the book is the shortage of apple pictures. There are only 32 plates, all of which show apples of great interest in this country - but a poor showing nonetheless. Obviously it would require a mammoth effort to provide pictures of over 2000 apples, but a more comprehensive photo directory would have been useful. Failing that, they might have mentioned that pictures of many apples are available on the Brogdale webiste (referenced in the back - but failing to mention the availability of descriptions and photos on the website). Although 2000+ seems a lot, there are a lot of UK apples missing. I would also have preferred that they concentrate on full coverage of the UK (for instance, they are missing several of our local cider apples), and omit some of the foreign apples. However, this is still a great book for what it does do, and well worth having if you have even a few trees.
I bought this book as a present for my son in law, who now has a very large garden and an interest in growing fruit. The book was recommended to me by a friend who works at the Brogdale Fruit Collection. It has many attractive illustrations and I think would appeal to those with a more academic interest in fruit as well as those who just enjoy beautiful books.
I am very interested in heritage varieties of apple and this excellent book contains authoritative information that is not available from an internet search. A very useful book for a professional or fruit enthusiast. Having the book available in a kindle edition is an added bonus as I no longer have the shelf space for new books.
A very concise listing by Brogdale, of all types of apples grown in the UK. With excellent descriptions and notes. For the price a must for your library shelf. As I grow fruit rootstocks (gb-online.co.uk) and I collect old varieties of fruit, this is an asset.