Search - List of Books by George Ewart Evans

George Ewart Evans (1909, Abercynon, South Wales — 1988) was a Welsh-born schoolteacher, writer and folklorist who became a dedicated collector of oral history and oral tradition in the East Anglian countryside from the 1940s to 1970s, and produced eleven books of collections of these materials.

Evans was born in a coal-mining village north of Cardiff, one of a family of eleven, to Welsh-speaking parents who ran a grocery business, As a boy he assisted in the delivery rounds travelling by pony and trap through the neighbouring farms and villages until the business closed following the 1924-5 coal strike. He went to grammar school, and studied classics at Cardiff University. After an unsuccessful attempt to move to London, he obtained work during the 1930s as a schoolmaster at Sawston village school, Cambridgeshire, married, and started a family.

After serving in the Royal Air Force with wireless equipment during the Second World War, he moved briefly to London, and then in 1947 to the remote Suffolk village of Blaxhall, where his wife taught in the school. He then began to write, first stories, poetry and film scripts for the BBC, and then writing a book about the people of the village of Blaxhall. This work (Ask The Fellows Who Cut The Hay) was, after many rejections, published by Faber and Faber in 1956, and the same house published the ten further books of similar character which Evans wrote over the next three decades.

The Evans family lived relatively simply, moving their home in the neighbourhood to Needham Market and Helmingham to follow the teaching posts, and at his wife's retirement they settled down finally in Brooke, a small Norfolk village, where George continued to write. Evans made extensive collections of oral history on tape relating to East Anglia, its village life, rural culture and dialect in a painstaking and sympathetic way, gathering anecdotes of the trades, the poverty, the migrant workers, and the pre-modern rural way of life which was then still lingering in that comparatively sequestered corner of England.

He maintained a long correspondence with the writer Robert Graves, and collaborated with his friend David Thomson of the BBC on the book The Leaping Hare. Although his books have a strong flavour of memory and nostalgia, they record a time (extending back into the nineteenth century) that was hard and to which one would not seriously wish to return. He did not add a gloss of romance to his materials, but assumed and accepted the truthfulness of his informants.

Of the Blaxhall countryman, Evans wrote
'His knowledge is not a personal knowledge but has been available to him through oral tradition which is the unselfconscious medium of transmission. It is in his bones, you could say, and nonetheless valuable for that.... It was here at this time, and with the dressing and elaborating on it later, that I transposed the Blaxhall community in my own mind into its true place in an ancient historical sequence, keeping the continuity that was for ever changing, and for ever remaining the same, until an irreparable break substituted the machines for animal power, and put an end to a period that had lasted well over two thousand years.'(The Crooked Scythe, 197-198.)


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Total Books: 34
The Pattern Under the Plough
2013 - The Pattern Under the Plough (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9781908213099
ISBN-10: 1908213094
Genres: History, Science & Math
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Ask the Fellows Who Cut the Hay
2010 - Ask the Fellows Who Cut the Hay (Hardcover)Paperback
ISBN-13: 9780956186928
ISBN-10: 0956186920
Genre: History
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Horse Power and Magic
2009 - Horse Power and Magic (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9780571246649
ISBN-10: 0571246648
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
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Acky
2009 - Acky (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9780571246625
ISBN-10: 0571246621
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The Horse in the Furrow
2009 - The Horse in the Furrow (Paperback)Paperback, Hardcover
ISBN-13: 9780571244300
ISBN-10: 0571244300
Genre: Travel
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Where Beards Wag All
2009 - Where Beards Wag All (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9780571244317
ISBN-10: 0571244319
Genres: History, Travel
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Spoken History
2009 - Spoken History (Paperback)Hardcover
ISBN-13: 9780571244324
ISBN-10: 0571244327
Genre: History
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The Days That We Have Seen
2009 - The Days That We Have Seen (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9780571243808
ISBN-10: 0571243800
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The Farm and the Village Aspects of the Folk-Life of East Anglia
2009 - The Farm and the VIllage Aspects of the Folk-life of East Anglia (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9780571243822
ISBN-10: 0571243827
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The Voices of the Children
2008 - The Voices of the Children [Library of Wales] (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9781905762514
ISBN-10: 1905762518
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From Mouths of Men
2008 - From Mouths of Men (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9780571243815
ISBN-10: 0571243819
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Eye on the Hill Horse Travels in Britain
2005 - Eye on the Hill Horse Travels in Britain (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9781590482124
ISBN-10: 1590482123
Genre: Travel
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The Leaping Hare
2002 - The Leaping Hare [Faber paperbacks] (Paperback)Hardcover
ISBN-13: 9780571106301
ISBN-10: 0571106307
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Nonfiction
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The Crooked Scythe An Anthology of Oral History
1995 - The Crooked Scythe an Anthology of Oral History (Paperback)Hardcover
ISBN-13: 9780571171941
ISBN-10: 057117194X
Genre: History
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The Crooked Scythe
1993 - The Crooked Scythe (Hardcover)Paperback
ISBN-13: 9780571167005
ISBN-10: 0571167004
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The Strength of the Hills An Autobiography
1985 - The Strength of the Hills an Autobiography (Paperback)Hardcover
ISBN-13: 9780571135509
ISBN-10: 0571135501
Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
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Where Beards Wag All The Relevance of Oral Tradition
1977 - Where Beards Wag All the Relevance of Oral Tradition (Paperback)Hardcover
ISBN-13: 9780571110889
ISBN-10: 0571110886
Genre: History
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Let Dogs Delight and Other Stories
1975 - Let Dogs Delight and Other Stories (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 9780571107377
ISBN-10: 0571107370
Genre: Literature & Fiction
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The farm and the village
1974 - The Farm and the VIllage (Paperback)Hardcover
ISBN-13: 9780571105519
ISBN-10: 0571105513
Genre: Nonfiction
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Leaping Hare
1973 - Leaping Hare [Faber paperbacks] (Hardcover)Paperback
ISBN-13: 9780571095599
ISBN-10: 0571095593
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Nonfiction
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Tools of their trades An oral history of men at work c 1900
1971 - Tools of Their Trades an Oral History of Men at Work C 1900 (Other)
ISBN-13: 9780800877477
ISBN-10: 0800877470
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The Crooked Scythe Farming Life [Isis Reminiscence Series] (Paperback)