Memoirs of a Surrey Labourer, first published in 1907, recounts in affectionate detail the twilight years of gardener Fred Bettesworth at the close of the nineteenth century and the opening of the twentieth. It is a tender and often tragic portrait of a man and a way of life long since disappeared, yet vividly preserved for us in fragments of everyday conversation and local dialect. Bettesworth emerges through George Bourne's journal entries as a truly extraordinary individual: a half-blind but almost indefatigable worker; an elderly veteran of the Crimean War; a devoted husband to a disabled wife; and a noble peasant whose humour, in spite of constant hardship, shines through. Memoirs is a book that George Orwell was 'always meaning to read', whose 'remarkable detail' faithfully depicts the burdens borne by a rural working man. George Bourne, the pen name of George Sturt (1863-1927), was born and grew up in Farnham, Surrey, where he ran a wheelwright's shop.
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About the Author
George Sturt (1863-1927), who also wrote under the pseudonym George Bourne, was an English writer on rural crafts and affairs. He was born and grew up in Farnham, Surrey.