The Not So Little Book of Dung

What goes in, must come out, and as soon as humans ceased to be hunter-gatherers and settled with their families and livestock into static communities, both ends needed sustainable attention. Dung from an array of sources - man, horse, blackbird, pigeon and the Beast of Paeonia - has fuelled economies, superstitions and rich rewards. In this engaging, entertaining and attractively illustrated book, Caroline Holmes explores the timeless history and architecture of dung, the product from its human, animal, bird, fish and fowl sources, the cunning devices invented for dung's effective harvest and, finally, the old adage 'where there's muck there's brass'. From successful gardeners reaping the rewards of hot beds, to farmers folding, penning and spreading for bumper harvests, Victorian millionaire guano dealers, and modern entrepreneurs producing dung-powered electricity and elephant dung paper, dung has been an extremely lucrative business. This book celebrates the worldwide testimonies to the power of dung from the humble paddy field, the cucumber frame and the moated manor to elegant pigeon towers and four-seater Georgian privies.