The Way of a Countryman

by Ian Niall

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Ian Niall, sportsman and naturalist, shares with his reader the joy of the countryman, captured in these varied recollections which draw on a lifetime observing nature, studying wildlife, shooting and fishing. His fascinating essays cover corncrakes and partridges, snipe and woodcock, foxes, hares and pigeons, duck and geese, trout and pike.

His unerring eye for all the nuances of nature finds its perfect partner in C.F. Tunnicliffe’s matchless illustrations. Together, author and artist have created a celebrated classic, an elegy to a passing world, that will delight a new generation of country lovers and book collectors.

Bernard O’Donoghue, the distinguished poet and countryman, writes in his foreword to this book: ‘This is a grown-up’s nature book, with all the pleasure remembered from childhood books that introduced us to nature writing. Niall’s appreciative eye is wonder-fully served by C.F. Tunnicliffe’s illustrations which are the sealing distinction of a perfectly executed book.’


16ill., 23 Black & white illustrations


Sep 06, 2012


About the Author:

Ian Niall (1916-2002) was the pen name of John McNeillie, author of over forty books on country matters, including The Poacher's Handbook and The Way of a Countryman. In 1990 he celebrated forty years as a columnist, at one point both for The Spectator and for Country Life where he was known and loved by a wide public for his weekly ‘Countryman’s Notes’. He was born in Scotland and he spent his formative years on his grandfather’s farm in Wigtownshire, recalled in A Galloway Childhood. He and his wife then lived in Wales and, later, the Chilterns. They had three children. His son Andrew McNeillie, Professor Emeritus at Exeter University, is the author of a biographical memoir of his father, Ian Niall: Part of his Life.

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