Thursday, 31 January 2008

The Emmerdale Farm Book Of Country Lore

Browsing through the local newspaper archive on a work-related project yesterday afternoon, I came across this rather faded announcement from November 1988. Spot the flaws! Amos Brierley? A few incorrect spellings of our favourite landlord's surname have appeared in Emmerdale Farm-related publications over the years. And this Cambridge bookshop also goofs. The correct spelling, of course, is Brearly.

And Ronald Macgill? Of course it was Magill.

And what on earth was the Emmerdale Farm OF COUNTRY LORE? Had the ad's writer been on the sherry?!! Insert the word "Book" between "Farm" and "OF" and you get a much clearer idea!

Despite the errors, it's an interesting ad to have - I hadn't realised that Ronald Magill had helped to publicise James Ferguson's book. I'm sure Cambridge wasn't his only port of call. Did any readers of this blog buy a copy of the book signed by Mr Magill?

The Emmerdale Farm Book Of Country Lore was based on the premise that Sam Pearson, who had died in late November 1984, had left behind a book, an incomplete work, detailing the various doings and sayings of country folk. He left the book to his eldest grandson, Jack, who set about tying up the loose ends and getting it published.

A photograph of actor Toke Townley as Sam Pearson appeared on the back cover and the book served as a tribute to his memory and that of the character he played.

The book was split into sections covering various topics, and featured Jack, Joe and company reading through Grandad Pearson's work and seeking out and exchanging pearls of wisdom from many years ago. There was something of an emphasis on Yorkshire, naturally, but the book was written to sell countrywide, so items of interest to people living in other English counties - and elsewhere in the UK, were included.

A taste of the book - Matt and Jack on counting sheep!

Copies of this book sometimes appear on eBay and if you are interested in folklore and Emmerdale Farm in the late 1980s I highly recommend it. It's just the thing to take to bed with a nice mug of Horlicks on dark winter evenings!

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