“It was market day in Hoult and throngs of common folk bustled and pushed their way along the isles of stalls in High Street. William Vavour had never been particularly happy mixing with what he disdainfully referred to as ‘peasants’.
“On this occasion he had little choice other than to quite literally rub shoulders against their coarsely woven clothing as he searched for the entrance to Gadfly Passage.”
This is the brisk opening, set in 1795, to Ralph Needham’s new book Destiny’s Talisman.
And if Hoult sounds somewhat familiar, you would be right – it is an anagram of Louth!
The book tells the triumphs and tragedies of five generations of a farming family.
It takes in the Napoleonic wars, the First World War and the opening of Hoult’s railway station.
It is the first of a trilogy of novels.
Ralph’s first book, Conscience Hill, told the story of his family farm and the community around it.
He was recently elected president of the British Charolais Cattle Society.
Ralph, along with son Alistair, farms almost 1,400 acres near Louth.
In addition to their closed herd of 200 pedigree poll Charolais they grow wheat, barley, oats and oil seed rape.
Destiny’s Talisman is published by Tucann for £7.99.
Ralph will be signing copies of Destiny’s Talisman at the Food and Gift Fair at Lincolnshire Showground on November 22 in the evening, and all day on November 23 and November 24, at Waterstones in Grimsby on November 28 from 5pm, Wrights in Louth on November 29 from 9.30am, Crowders in Horncastle on November 30 from 10am and at MSR in Louth on December 4 from 10am.
The book is widely available at local outlets.