Would YOU marry a farmer? This six million dollar question is posed by Lorna Sixsmith in her similarly titled new book. Through the pages she wittily answers many questions for would-be farmers’ wives, which may leave you firmly believing an Irish farmer is the ideal husband after all.
Today I’m thrilled to be part of Lorna’s virtual book tour, to help launch her new publication. Lorna kindly gave me an advance copy of her book to review and is providing an additional copy for one lucky reader of Irish American Mom to win.
A good book is an ideal Christmas gift. Over the next week I’ll share some titles, that are just perfect for your loved ones who are interested in all things Irish.
But now back to those farmers….
Although I may be a city girl, I spent many days, weeks and months of my childhood with my two grannies on their farms in County Cork. My farming experience, milking cows and bringing in the hay, helped me truly appreciate Lorna’s humorous take on Irish farming life.
For those girls set on finding a farming husband this book has it all. Lorna first explores the question of whether or not farmers are a good catch.
She includes a wonderful look back on marriage practices in years gone by, the dowry system and the ancient art of matchmaking.
Old newspaper advertisements from eligible men and women seeking a partner with land are thoroughly entertaining. Some of these snippets date back to the 19th century.
In 1946 The Irish Press printed the following appeal on the 16th October 1946.
“Farmer, age 30, 40 acres, own farm, no encumbrance,
would like to correspond with farmer’s daughter,
age 25-30, good strong girl with view to above.”
I love the fact this potential suitor made no effort to hide the fact he needs a “good, strong girl.” No pretty weaklings need apply.
Next Lorna guides us through the process of finding a good farmer, with plenty of tips on types of farming, finding a farmer to date, and the language of farming.
But finding a farmer is just the first step. Many pitfalls await for budding agricultural relationships. Rest easy, Lorna has plenty of advice including how to pick the right color wellington boots for a date, how to enjoy a romantic tractor ride, and the signs you are destined to be a farmer’s wife.
This book isn’t just for girls hoping to meet the man of their dreams in wellies. Anyone already living the good life as a farmer’s wife will appreciate Lorna’s honest take on agricultural life.
I laughed when Lorna discussed appropriate etiquette for attending the cattle mart. My own grandmother was widowed at fifty years of age, and shortly afterwards received a marriage proposal at none other than the cattle mart. Barely out of mourning, she tactfully declined. Refusing her potential suitor’s romantic propositions must have been difficult while “examining the hind quarter of a fine bullock.”
In the final section, Lorna offers solid advice on how to stay married to your farmer, once you have tied the knot. She explores the challenges faced such as lack of vacations, or romantic dates, how to feed contractors when you have only two eggs in the cupboard, bringing dinners to the field, and how to be mistress of your own domain.
Now if you believe you would never marry a farmer, let alone set foot on a farm, this book may still hold a chuckle or two for you. It offers wonderful insight into our Irish farming ancestors’ way of life. I highly recommend this book as a must-read guide, for anyone interested in rural Irish life, both past and present.
One lucky winner will receive a copy of Would You Marry a Farmer by Lorna Sixsmith.
To enter just leave a comment on this blog post by noon on Saturday, December 14th, 2013. Any comment will do but if you need inspiration why not tell us a little bit about any farming experiences you may have.
A winning comment will be chosen randomly. Remember to leave your e-mail so that I can contact you should you win. Your e-mail won’t be published or shared, just used to contact our lucky contestant.
Winners will be announced on Saturday December 14th, so Lorna can get the winners’ prize in the mail. Christmas delivery may not be possible, but it should arrive by the the New Year.
How To Buy This Book:
If you are interested in purchasing a copy of this book, just pop over to Lorna’s blog Irish Farmerette. The cost is € 17 which is approximagely US$20.27 or US$27.02 inclusive of postage.
A big thank you to Lorna for sponsoring this giveaway.
Slán agus beannacht leat!
(Goodbye and blessings)
Irish American Mom
P.S. I did not receive any payment for this post, but simply received an advance copy of the book for review purposes. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.