George Sturt’s The Wheelwright’s Shop is one of the most important (and most beautiful) books written in the time of transition from a pre-industrial economy to one of modern mechanization and methods in the late 19th century. Sturt was a wheelwright who owned a shop in Farnham, U.K., and was also a vivid and thoughtful writer. He describes his trade and village in detail, from interactions with neighbors and workmen to the proper felling of trees and use of tools. Throughout the book, Sturt maintains an ideological connection to the simple ways of the past even as he sees the writing on the wall for the new advent of machine manufacture, leaving the local craftsman behind.
We’re pleased to announce the release of a product in a new sphere for M&T: The Wheelwright’s Shop audiobook. For the reading, we contacted our friend Ray Deftereos, who deeply shares the M&T ethos even though he lives many thousands of miles from us, in South Africa. Ray knows woodworking books – he is the host of the “Hand Tool Book Review” podcast, and does a thoughtful and thorough assessment of every book he features. And he brings that love of books and hand-tool woodworking into this reading.
At 5 hours, 40 minutes in length, The Wheelwright’s Shop will fill out evenings of workshop time or mornings driving to work. Joshua and I have been listening to it all week in the shop, and we’ve enjoyed it immensely. We think you will, too.
You can listen to a sample chapter here.