The Village Blacksmith by Ronald Webber                

This is a lovely book with many illustrations.

The village blacksmith has almost disappeared, yet he and his shop were at the centre of village life for many centuries. This book describes and illustrates the blacksmith as a craftsman, the tools he used, and the long history of blacksmithing, from its beginnings when iron was discovered to the decline of the trade in the 20th century with the spread of the motor car.

Stories of the famous and infamous blacksmiths are included with details of all the legends, myths and spells, and the intriguing mystique which still surrounds their craft.

The author describes blacksmith weddings, the strange and strong smiths of northern europe folklore, and all the superstitions, including those connected with horseshoes.

160 pages with 55 illustrations (black and white photographs, engravings and line drawings). Contents include: The Worker in Iron; The Worshipful Companies; The Craft of the Blacksmith; Strange and Strong Smiths; Blacksmith Priests of Gretna Green; The Spreading Chestnut Tree; Horseshoes as Charms; Tales from the Smithy; The End of the Road. There is also an Appendix: The Village Blacksmith by H. W. Longfellow.

First published in 1971 by David and Charles. ISBN 0 7153 5363 2. Ronald Webber has sadly passed away and the book is out of print. The authors father and grandfather before him were all blacksmiths.

If you are a farrier or blacksmith, have an ancestor who was a blacksmith or are just interested in past times you will love this book.

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