HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Idylls of the Field
Author: Francis Arnold Knight
Illustrator: E. T. Compton
Publisher: Palala Press, republished in 2015
ISBN-13: 978-1346692531 Hardcover
ISBN-10: 134669253X Hardcover
ISBN-13: 978-1297457333 Paperback
ISBN-10: 1297457331 Paperback
Related website: https://archive.org/details/idyllsoffield00knigiala
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Teens and adults
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Knight, Francis Arnold. Idylls of the Field (published in 1890 by Roberts Brothers, Boston, MA). This book is apparently a collection of articles which were originally written for and published in a newspaper called the Daily News by author Francis Arnold Knight (1852-1915). All I know about him is that he was the last editor of a periodical known as The Annual Monitor, which was list of British Quakers who died each year between 1812 and 1919, and was founded in 1813 at York by William Alexander (1768-1841). These articles consist of observations about country life beginning in winter, moving through spring, summer, and fall, and concluding with the Yule season. They cover experiences throughout various locations in England, including the seashore, woodlands, meadows, marshes, fields, hills, riversides, moors, and even a country cemetery, although a couple of chapters discuss a summer excursion to the Bavarian highlands in southern Germany.
For example, chapter 1 takes place near the Farne Islands, a group of islands off the coast of Northumberland, England. Chapter 2 occurs near Athelney located between the villages of Burrowbridge and East Lyng in the Sedgemoor district of Somerset, England, on the Severn Sea, more commonly known as the Bristol Channel. Other chapters make reference to the Mendip caves, Devon on the English Channel, the Cheddar cliffs, and the mountains of Wales. I do not know precisely how this book ended up in my library, but it was on a shelf with several other old books that I have inherited from various sources through the years, and I found it a pleasant diversion. Those who would enjoy reading highly descriptive nature essays detailing the flora and fauna of Great Britain, along with a few related English historical references, should like it. Other similar volumes by Francis Arnold Knight include By Leafy Ways, The Rambles of a Dominie, In the West Country, and The Heart of Mendip.