The Book of the Farm


The Book of the Farm is a work on agricultural practices in mid-19th century England by Henry Stephens. The book was published in two volumes in 1841. This edition is from 1849.

The book follows the seasons of the farming year, starting in winter and working round to the end of autumn. It covers all aspects of farm life and contains many illustrations of machinery, implements, land and animals. The Book of the Farm quickly became accepted as a standard work on agricultural practice.

The Book of the Farm and Adam Bede

George Eliot read The Book of the Farm as part of the research for her novel Adam Bede. She took notes on Stephens’s descriptions of clouds to help her portray accurately the weather in the Midlands during the summer of 1799 (vol. 1, pp. 64–65; vol. 2, p. 304). She may also have read the sections relating to cheese and butter-making, in order to write about the Poysers’ dairy farm, and Hetty’s duties as dairy maid.

Full title:
The Book of the Farm, Two Vols
1849, Edinburgh, London
Book / Illustration / Image
Henry Stephens
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
British Library

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