This Golden Fleece

A Journey Through Britain’s Knitted History

Esther Rutter

Published: 5 September 2019
Hardback, Demy HB
138x216mm, 352 pages
ISBN: 9781783784356

About the author

Image of Esther Rutter

Esther Rutter studied English at Oxford University's Magdalen College, where she held an academic scholarship. She has worked at the Wordsworth Trust and at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, and is currently Writer in Residence at the University of St Andrews. Growing up on a sheep farm in Suffolk - where as child she learned to spin, weave and knit - she retains an affection for all things woolly. She lives in Fife. You can follow her knitting adventures on Instagram @thisgoldenfleece and Twitter @thisgoldfleece. More about the author


‘A beautifully illustrated book that tells the story of wool in the British Isles. . . A must for autumn



‘A compelling literary journey through the social history of wool in the British Isles’ Karen Lloyd, author of

‘An engaging and highly informative read’

‘Esther Rutter unravels the social history and allure of knitting, from Fair Isle to Cornwall via the Hebrides [...] in her fascinating book’

‘I love the sound of this’

‘This is a book about wool and sheep, the making of Scotland, England and farming, textile manufacture, folk-lore and, crucially, the essential craft of knitting. The plying of wool had been a vital survival skill for over two millennia in Britain before the Romans showed up (bringing their own sheep with them, just in case) making this domestic skill a founding piece of 'civilisation'. From fairy tales to debate regarding national identity, from the year dot to the tragedy of the Scottish Clearances and beyond, the history of plain, purl and intarsia is woven together by Esther Rutter, whose own skill with needles, learned from practical experience, attests that this ancient craft is nothing less than a wonder of civilization. Beautifully written too’ Janice Galloway, author of

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