The second volume of Woodruff's memoirs starts with him having arrived in Poplar in the early 1930s. On spec he turns up at a steel foundry and luckily gets a job. His digs are with an old couple in Bow where he has to share a single bed (head to toe) with their mentally retarded son. Life in the foundry is grim but William is indomitable. For recreation one day he cycles (then in the days before inflatable tyres) to Berkhamstead to try and track down an old girlfriend. She's not there and he has to return in a snowstorm - it takes him eight hours to get back to Poplar and then he has to get up three hours later to work at the foundry. Eventually he decides to 'get some leernin' and his first white collar job starts for the water board in ...Brettenham House! He continues to pursue his studies, finally winning a place at Ruskin College, Oxford. How the ex-steel worker became an Oxford academic - and William's concluding description of returning from the war to meet the son he's never seen - is deeply moving.
Nicholas Culpeper's The English Physitian: or an Astrologo-physical Discourse of the Vulgar Herbs of This Nation is more commonly known as Culpeper's Complete Herbal. It was first printed in September 1653 (Culpeper died in January 1654) and immediately became a classic reference that is as fascinating today as it was over 350 years ago. Breverton's Complete Herbal is a reworking Beyond Nab End: The Sequel to "The Road to Nab End" download ebook of Culpeper's classic text for a modern day audience. Arranged alphabetically, this book describes over 250 herbs and spices as well as feature entries on scented herb/medicinal gardens, the great herbalists and New World Herbs not included in Culpepper's original text. Each entry provides a description of the herb: its appearance and botanical features, a brief history of its uses in medicine, dyeing and cuisine to bizarre remedies and concoctions designed to get rid of all manner of real and imaginary ailements. As informative as it is entertaining, this incredibly diverse compendium contains just about everything you'll ever need to know about the properties and provenance of herbs and spices of the world.
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