A meditation on why life has been a dreadful mistake ever since the Reformation brought us paid jobs and the work ethic . . . Brave Old World is hugely inspiring ( New Statesman )
One of those enthusiasts whose enthusiasm is hard to resist . . . Bizarre yet always beguiling ( Daily Mail )
A delightful read . . . Share in the exuberant joys and comic misfortunes of an eccentric who has made up his mind about the existence he wants to lead, and has gone ahead and lived it ( Mail on Sunday )
He writes in such a charmingly old-fashioned way . . . Utterly endearing . . . Packed with good advice ( The Lady )
Drawing on the wisdom of an eclectic range of thinkers and writers, on medieval calendars and manorial records, and, as ever, on Tom's own honestly recounted and frequently imperfect attempts to travel the road to self-sufficiency, Brave Old World is designed to give us all hope. Why, he asks, shouldn't we return to the ideals of a pre-capitalist, pre-Puritan, pre-consumerist world of feasting, dancing, horse-riding, wood-chopping, fire-laying, poultry-rearing, bartering, bread-baking and bee-keeping?
From January to December, Brave Old World charts the progress of a year in pursuit of the pleasures of the past, taking seriously - though not without much incidental comedy - G.K. Chesterton's exhortation, 'We must go back to freedom or forward to slavery'.
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