‘The premise is that Bell didn’t really know what to do with his life when was 19 – which was in 1920. Between them, he and his father decided that he might become a farmer – and Corduroy is his account of getting some experience to this end. Before putting all his eggs in one basket, he had to find out how the farming malarkey went . . .
The majority of the book is Bell being introduced to a task, doing it badly, and getting better. What makes Corduroy such an enjoyable book is the way he writes about the experience. He is never patronizing about the labourers, and nor does he idolize them with the eye of a Romantic poet.’