×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

The Way of a Countryman
     

The Way of a Countryman

by Ian Niall, C. F. Tunnicliffe (Illustrator)
 
Ian Niall, sportsman and naturalist, shares with his reader the joy of the countryman, captured in these varied recollections which draw on a lifetime observing nature, studying wildlife, shooting and fishing. His fascinating essays cover corncrakes and partridges, snipe and woodcock, foxes, hares and pigeons, duck and geese, trout and pike.

His unerring eye for all

Overview

Ian Niall, sportsman and naturalist, shares with his reader the joy of the countryman, captured in these varied recollections which draw on a lifetime observing nature, studying wildlife, shooting and fishing. His fascinating essays cover corncrakes and partridges, snipe and woodcock, foxes, hares and pigeons, duck and geese, trout and pike.

His unerring eye for all the nuances of nature finds its perfect partner in C.F. Tunnicliffe's matchless illustrations. Together, author and artist have created a celebrated classic, an elegy to a passing world, that will delight a new generation of country lovers and book collectors.

Bernard O'Donoghue, the distinguished poet and countryman, writes in his foreword to this book: 'This is a grown-up's nature book, with all the pleasure remembered from childhood books that introduced us to nature writing. Niall's appreciative eye is wonder-fully served by C.F. Tunnicliffe's illustrations which are the sealing distinction of a perfectly executed book.'

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781906122461
Publisher:
Merlin Unwin Books
Publication date:
09/06/2012
Pages:
176
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.70(d)

Read an Excerpt

On a good day I have fished for hours without success convinced that I would come to the moment when I would begin to do well. On a bad day I have known that I was doomed to fish without success until I put the rod away again. I have caught fish in places where only instinct suggested a fish might be caught.
There are quite a number of fishermen who will have experienced this sort of thing either at first or second hand. Last summer I had a wonderful example of it when I was in Scotland. A well-known and skilled salmon fisherman was fishing the local river on which I had been plying a rod for nearly two weeks without success. It rained on my last day and this expert came to fish for a short time on the same water, but he hadn't been there an hour when he decided he must pack up and go by car to a pool on another river where he would take a salmon. He did this. I fished on without success and at night I met the local expert. He had three salmon. He had fished the pool of that other river in company with a dozen other men all spinning with the same sort of spinning gear and the same lures, and he alone had landed salmon. They had all moved along the pool in rotation and according to the rules, and he knew, he insisted, that he would take fish there no matter what the others did or didn't do.
There is something mysterious or mystical, in the business of fishing and it is this that makes it even more fascinating than waiting for duck or walking up birds. The imponderables are legion. The answers are anyone's guess in spite of all the textbooks that have been written. Man, the hunter, isn't born equal. Evolution has almost certainly taken care of those in prehistoric times who lost their sensitivity, their telepathic gifts, their sixth sense. A few people still have these gifts to a varying degree - Kenzie, the gooseman, for instance, who has an apparently fantastic ability to call up hares and bring geese down to within the range of his gun. It makes me smile to read that he acknowledges some gipsy blood. I imagine he would be an accomplished fly-fisherman if he chose to take it up and that he could handle animals equally well.

Meet the Author

Ian Niall (1916-2002) was the pen name of John McNeillie, author of over forty books on country matters, including The Poacher's Handbook and The Way of a Countryman.

In 1990 he celebrated forty years as a columnist, at one point both for The Spectator and for Country Life where he was known and loved by a wide public for his weekly 'Countryman's Notes'.

He was born in Scotland and he spent his formative years on his grandfather's farm in Wigtownshire, recalled in A Galloway Childhood. He and his wife then lived in Wales and, later, the Chilterns. They had three children.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews