Book Recommendation: Farm Life in North-East Scotland 1840-1914 by Ian Carter

Farm Life Book

A good book to read if you want to know about the working lives of farm servants, agricultural labourers and crofters, and especially those who lived in Aberdeenshire and neighbouring counties. Takes a sociological stance and is an academic book, but gives a very thorough account of a lost way of life. Very good on the social relationships and “class” structure of farming communities, and the working lives of farm servants. Excellent bibliography for further reading.

10 responses to “Book Recommendation: Farm Life in North-East Scotland 1840-1914 by Ian Carter

  1. Ian Carter taught me at university in the 1980s – he writes really well!

  2. Oh wow, lucky you. It’s a very good book, and I learnt a lot from it.

  3. Yeah, he’s an interesting character. Came to New Zealand from Aberdeen University I think. Has a bit of a thing for trains; of which there aren’t many in New Zealand. He was my head of department when I was struggling to finish a thesis. He made an off-hand comment to the effect that he didn’t think I’d finish, and inadvertently provided the impetus for me to get off my bum — just to prove him wrong! I handed in with about 12 hours to spare.

    • The copy of Ian Carter’s book I have is a 1997 reprint with a preface by the author, although the book was published in 1979. In it he says “In 1982 I decamped to New Zealand, escaping devastation wrought on Aberdeen University by Margaret Thatcher’s policies.” So I guess he’s not in mourning over yesterday’s event!

  4. Found Ian Carter’s book in the Toronto Reference library. Since it’s the only copy there, I was busy yesterday photocopying pages I was particularly interested in – felt like a student all over again. Only difference: everyone else in the library was younger than me! Carter’s book explains much about the impact of living conditions on family life. I will follow up on the other recommended sources.

    Interesting to read about another aspect of Margaret Thatcher’s legacy. The conservative press in Canada has been effusive in its praise for “The Iron Lady.”

  5. I have to say that the reaction to Margaret Thatcher’s death here in the UK has been very mixed indeed!

  6. Far too many of us still bear the scars.

  7. Don’t we just. She will always be “Milk Snatcher Thatcher” to me as she was Minister for Education whilst I was at uni. And she was my MP when I lived in London.

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