How To Own a Human is a selection of writings about cats and for cats. As well as stories and poems, it also includes rhymes, proverbs, fables and quotations, plus instructions for cats on how to train their humans - a sort of "Open Mew-niversity" course for felines. READERS: Ellen Dryden is an actor, writer and director working mainly for the stage and radio. She read English at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford and after graduating she won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
"Must Read for CAT people"
In Golden Sheaves, Black Horses, Archer has recorded the beauty of the west of England and the villagers living in the area during the last decades of the 19th Century. Archer explained his decision to write about these stubborn and strong characters by saying: "I felt it would be such a pity if, when these characters died, their sayings, customs, ways of life, how they dressed, should vanish with them." Thanks to Fred Archer's powers of observation and memory, and above all his truthful turn of phrase, they never will.
Fred Archer grew up on his father’s farm in the Vale of Evesham in the 1920s, a time when the horse was supreme and shepherd, dairyman, and carter were kings within their callings. With wit and warmth, he describes local characters, and documents a forgotten rural life - the way an elevator pole was used to build a hayrick, how small boys were sent under cornricks to cut off with scissors hanging straws that mice could use as ladders, and how cottagers kept songbirds in cages.
The local newspaper of 1900 covered the weekly happenings of men, farming, and weather, but what of the Secret Things that were not reported in the papers that first year of the new century? Fred Archer resurrects the way of life of the village folk: how they lived in the cottages tucked away in every coomb under the hill, an outcrop of the Cotswolds that lies between them and the Malverns like a stranded whale, where the beech trees thrive on the limestone, overlooking the snaking Avon river.