Patrick McAfee wrote me last week highly recommending a new book that has just been published .
Attached find information on a most wonderful new book called 'Europe's Field Boundaries' in 2 volumes by Georg Muller. Georg basically spent the last 30 years traveling around Europe surveying dry stone walls, hedged banks etc in most European countries (Ireland, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Croatia, Greece etc etc)
He has photos, dimensions, maps, details of construction, where they are, how many of each type etc etc.
I met Georg and his wife in Ireland a few years ago and have been in touch with him by email since. I also met him in Cumbria at an international conference there. He's from Germany, hasn't much English and his books are translated from his native tongue.
With his two books he has done more to highlight the quantity, quality, diversity, loss and vulnerability of what remains than anyone else I know of. If a European institution or a university had achieved what Georg has done it would be considered a monumental task.
The books are beautifully bound with gold leaf on the hardback covers.
If there's ever a special book you want, a once in a life time book on the subject, this is it.
If that isn't enough to wet your walling appetite, here's what Patrick wrote to Georg (and is quoted on the web site ) about this massive two volume set on the subject of dry stone walls and hedges in......
...."congratulations on achieving such an enormous task. I have not stopped reading then since they arrived, they are fascinating and I know of no other such books. They give an insight in to a long neglected area of study and highlight something very precious that needs preserving. The work you put in, the travel, beautiful photos, measurements, drawings, the quality of the work, the whole enterprise, makes these very special books indeed.
I am fascinated how your books make it easy to do comparative studies right across Europe between one country and another. The books reflect a shared European tradition and at the same time one rich and diverse varying from region to region always reflecting local materials, traditions and skills.
Thank you for highlighting Ireland's place in all of this, your books will help promote what maybe is not so well understood and has not received as much attention as it deserves. For a long time I have been aware just how precious this tradition is here and how much still survives. Your books show so clearly that we are a lucky country to have so much but at the same time how this is vulnerable and disappearing.
While some of us in individual countries had some awareness of what existed locally few people if any knew what was there on a European scale. So thank you Georg for bringing it to our attention, making it easily available and hopefully your books will create a new beginning, greater understanding, respect, highlight the need for education and training, appropriate repair and spin offs in tourism and local employment."
Patrick McAfee, January 2014 (Ireland)"
I'm getting my copy soon.