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The Shepherd's Life: a tale of the Lake District by James Rebanks

Written by · Published Dec 20, 2016

The Shepherd's Life

See The Shepherd’s Life: a tale of the Lake District in our catalogue.

This book is an inspiring memoir of the joys and demands of farming in the Lake District. Despite leaving the family farm as a teenager, Rebanks is inexorably drawn back to the family tradition and to his beloved Herdwick sheep. As he states: “This is my life. I want no other.” And after reading this beautiful and poetic evocation of the cycle of the farmer’s year it’s easy to see why.

Yet it’s more than a poignant and rose-tinted look at a traditional way of life that is disappearing, it’s a realist’s view of future possibilities. Surprisingly, despite the intrusion of tourism there appear to be few threats other than the questionable will and self-belief of the next generation and the need for them to be willing to work hard and diversify. Rebanks’ life is testimony to this diversity, from having to practice cursive writing for his A levels to taking his Oxford degree, from his love of reading to being a publishing sensation, and from his love of farming to his position as a Unesco consultant, not to mention a having Twitter account with nearly 90,000 followers!

Helen Scrivener

I'm manager at Woodbridge Library.