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Farming

Native of Eskdale,

Another Country

 

About this book:

  • ISBN: 9781910237199 (paperback)

  • Published April 2016

  • Price £12.00 + postage

  • 249 pages

  • Illustrated with 48 photographs.

The Book:
This book is a wonderful tribute to the natives of Eskdale and their way of life remembered by one of their own; it truly is 'Another Country'. The author's memories of Eskdale relate to the 1930s through to the 1950s. She was a farmer's daughter but her family also kept the Woolpack Inn so the book recounts how this was run in the days when 'horses and carts and candlesticks were just being replaced by cars and electricity.' There are chapters on the history of the valley, the seasons on the farm, school, church, celebrities and the inn's customers. For anyone interested in north country life before and during the Second World War this book is a must.

The Author:
Margaret Armstrong Elliot was born and brought up in Eskdale. She lived in California, Scotland, Ontario, Alberta and Victoria before settling in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her professional life was spent in Medical Technology and High School Biology teaching.
From a very young age she was an artist, and was able to build on a period of early training in Fine Art, at King’s College, then part of Durham University, in the United Kingdom. She was a full signature member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, (SFCA), and the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour, (CSPWC).
Margaret’s work is informed by a rural background and respect for nature. Her artistic preference was for watercolour and for drawing; her subject areas were the figure and landscape. Her style is described as having ‘evolved as loose, but sophisticated, and reliant on good drawing.’ Her favourite quotations are from J. M. W. Turner. –‘indistinctness is my forté’ and ‘where things are vague, (to) be absolutely accurate about the nature of their vagueness.’
The author originally wrote this book to record her memories for her children and two granddaughters. Margaret’s memories of Eskdale and her research into the area’s history will be appreciated by a wider audience inter- ested in the Lake District, farming and rural life.
Cover image, ‘Another Country’, by Margaret Armstrong Elliot, SFCA, CSPWC.

Reviews:
Cumbria Life magazine, June 2016

A Reader's Review: Not only is this book an account of the childhood memories of a 'native' but it contains the remarkable remembrances of a perspicacious and observant girl who went on to become not only a medical biologist, but also a skilled artists and peripatetic member of the Federation of Canadian Artists – all with an astonishing recall and gentle writing style. Above all it is a story of a community, which at a time of huge technological, social and political upheaval develops from a closed, but sound, society into the wide world of the 20th century...
Remarkable in Elliot's recall are the little historical glimpses which she has interwoven into her earlier accounts and are later amplified, with fascinating genealogy...
This book is gently addictive. It is misjudged if it is left as a merely 'local book'. In English social rural history it must stand with Jeffries, Hudson, Cobbet, Kilvern, Thompson, Allan and others. Some of her impressions sums it up:
'… And we were the last generation born before the Second World War, and the war was to change everything. We were the first generation that would not automatically stay on the family farm, the first to be offered more than an elementary school education and the possibility of another kind of job…'

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