Hart is a master wagon-maker, reveller and brewer of parsnip wine; a steadfast defender of small liberties; a self-professed descendant of Shakespeare who grows the finest Brussels sprouts in England. And he’s the man responsible for the field of linseed, grown in defiance of the War Agricultural Executive Committee, which flowers one summer morning on Brensham Hill. In the first volume of the trilogy, Portrait of Elmbury (SFE no. 26), Moore draws a vivid picture of growing up in an English country town when rural society was still self-sufficient. Brensham Village (SFE no. 34) is set in the 1930s, with change creeping in. The Blue Field brings us up to 1948, with the aftermath of the war signalling the end of this very particular way of rural life. In the touching, and often hilarious, stories of William Hart’s wild and intractable nature, Moore captures a very English sense of resistance and resilience. The old ways don’t go without a good deal of fuss.