Is it possible to give it all up and subsist on five acres? So many people longingly dream about it- but John Seymour did it. His first self-sufficiency book, The Fat of the Land, begins with this paragraph:
“Here we all sit, Sally my wife, Jane who is five and a half, Ann who is two and a half, and Kate who is seven (days), a mile from a hard road, with no electricity, no gas, no deliveries of anything at all except coal, provided we take at least a ton, and mail, and the post woman gets specially paid for coming here. And we are self-supporting for every kind of food excepting tea, coffee, flour, sugar and salt. We have no car- we drive about with a pony and cart.”
He tells the story of how he rented an unused thatched cottage from a wealthy landowner in a remote part of Suffolk. His landlord said: “I’ll let you have the two cottages, the out-houses, the field, in all about five acres, for ten pounds a year- provided that you keep it in repair”.
Originally published in 1961, this is a Country Book Club edition from 1963. Text block edges are moderately foxed and a little toned but all text is clear and Sally Seymour's line illustrations are clear and most delightful (amazing that she found the time!). Although the dust jacket is chipped around the edges, water-stained and sunned on the spine, the front illustration by Carol Barker remains clear and bright.