HOW old is old? If it were not that there were, at least for practical purposes, no English farming books before the age of printing, that question would intrigue me vastly— because I should not know how to begin writing this essay. Fortunately, however, any scruples I may have are removed by a matter of fact. The first English farming book was published in the third decade of the 16th century. It was Fitzherbert's Boke of Husbandry, issued in 1523.
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