The author was born in Dorchester, in the heart of Thomas Hardy country and the great novelist and poet painted a portrait of his mother when he lived at Max Gate. Michael Billett has lived with his Australian wife and two daughters in many parts of Dorset including a restored eighteenth-century thatched cottage. His interests include architecture, antiques, wine and most sports, especially equestrian ones. A doctor of philosophy, he has written several books on countryside matters, including Thatching and Thatched Buildings, Thatched Buildings of Dorset, A History of English Country Sports, Highwaymen and Outlaws and Farmhouses and Cottages.
'A comprehensive and competent study of all aspects of thatching.' Country Life 'Even a cursory glance at the photographs... reveals the serene beauty of thatched buildings... reinforced by the informative narrative.' Ideal Home 'A charming and informative read for lovers of the countryside.' Manchester Evening News 'A scholarly work, though highly readable.' Independent 'The definitive work on the subject.' Dorset Life 'A definitive manual... a book of both practical use and aesthetic appeal.' Wiltshire Life