The Horse in the Furrow

By George Ewart Evans & CF Tunnicliffe


The Suffolk Punch – that sturdy, compact draft horse of noble ancestry – was, until mechanisation, the powerhouse of the East Anglian farming community.

In The Horse in the Furrow (1960), renowned social historian George Ewart Evans explores this potent symbol of a bygone era, and the complex network – farmer, horseman, groom, smith, harness-maker and tailor – which surrounded it. Evans charts a fascinating course, demonstrating the connectedness of husbandry, custom and dialect, and arguing for an organic, inclusive study of these aspects of rural life. In particular, the section on folklore sheds light on some of the most obscure practices, with the Punch standing proudly at its centre. With beautiful illustrations by Charles Tunnicliffe, The Horse in the Furrow is an engaging and subtle portrait of an animal at the heart of its community.

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