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ISBN: 9780857041708
AUTHOR: Simon Butler
Goodbye Old Friend
Goodbye Old Friend
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Our relationship with the working horse, which had existed since prehistoric times, reached its peak during the long reign of Queen Victoria. Truly this was the age when the horse was king. On the farms of Britain little moved without horse power and the coming of the railways only increased the number of horses in the country.

Yet following the First World War, the Empire of the Horse evaporated, and within a few decades the working horse had disappeared almost entirely from the British landscape.

In Goodbye Old Friend, Simon Butler explores the reasons for this change and the effect it has had on our lives. The story follows on from the his bestselling book The War Horses in which he describes the fate of the horse during the 1914-18 war, in which over a million horses died on the Western Front alone.

Here the author looks in detail at the prominence of the working horse in rural Britain during Victoria’s reign, the challenge of steam power and the internal combustion engine, and the movement of population away from the countryside.

The devastating effect of the First World War is then examined, followed by the years in which the world of the working horse quickly faded from memory.

The inclusion of 300 photographs and first-hand accounts help illustrate the story of why the decline of horse power was so rapid, and bring home to the reader the social significance of the disappearance of horses from daily life. Here we discover the loss of the working horse was, in part, our loss too.

Simon Butler lives and works in the Westcountry. A publisher of many hundreds of titles he has also written and edited books ranging from novels to books on art. His book The War Horses, published in 2011, reached number one in military hardback sales and has been reprinted several times. That volume grew out of his interest in the First World War and in his friendship with those who keep alive the bond between humans and the horse.

Imprint: Halsgrove. ISBN 978 0 85704 170 8, hardback, 238x258mm, 144 pages. Published October 2012.Reprinted May 2015.

The War HorsesThe War Horses - £19.99
Simon Butler draws upon over 200 photographs and eye-witness accounts to illustrate the actuality of war and the vital role played by the horse on the Western Front. Poignant memoirs reveal the bond formed between the fighting men and the animals in their care; remarkable stories of compassion and kindness set against the harrowing background of ‘The War to End All Wars’.
Web Price: £19.99
23.17 EUR 24.99 USD 32.74 AUD

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