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Craeft
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About the Author

Alexander Langlands is a British archaeologist and medieval historian. He is a regular presenter for the BBC and teaches medieval history at Swansea University. He currently resides in Swansea, Wales.

Reviews

"In Craeft, Mr. Langlands excavates the scintillating history of our truest super power: making clever things with our hands. This history is rife with real-life magic and affection, for our earth as well as one another. I am damn grateful for this book." -- Nick Offerman, author of Paddle Your Own Canoe and Good Clean Fun
"Hypnotic... In reconnecting with craeft, [Langlands] begins to see not just the beauty of an object or a building or a landscape, but the deeper purpose for which each has been created. And he understands, too, the environment they shape and upon which they depend.... At a time where our disconnection from the world around us is not just tragic but downright dangerous, recovering our status as Homo faber, the species that makes things, may be our salvation." -- Michael Bierut - New York Times
"Archaeologist and BBC presenter Alexander Langlands offers a fascinating and surprisingly relevant dive into a subject that might seem niche to many-the origins of traditional crafts in medieval Europe... Readers get a richly atmospheric peek into "craefts" like the thatching of roofs, the spinning of wool, and the tanning of hides... What Langlands is advocating for in his book is more widespread knowledge about the time when craft was integral to daily life. In the era he studies, activities like beekeeping weren't escapes from reality, but essential to it." -- The Atlantic
"Using a combination of memoir, history and cultural commentary - in the first chapter Langlands has his own Poldark moment with a scythe - Langlands makes a coherent and enjoyable argument for 'not just a knowledge of making but a knowledge of being.'" -- The Guardian
"Whether it's the small-batch hot sauce or the rage for craft beer, today's consumer wants tradition, quality, and artisan everything. Langlands offers a fascinating history of what's setting trends today." -- Booklist
"An engaging read imparting a wealth of historical knowledge with a touch of infotainment. With current interest in authentic arts and handmade goods, this unparalleled scholarly work will appeal to both specialists and casual readers. " -- Library Journal, starred
"Alexander Langlands is spot-on: crafting isn't just about creating beautiful, useful objects. It's about reclaiming the knowledge, wisdom, and power that link us to the collective history of civilization. Craeft is what makes us human." -- Carleen Madigan, editor of The Backyard Homestead
"Erudite, deftly argued, well written, and timely-Langlands weaves together the basic human desire to use our hands to make things with tradition, landscape, and the natural world. A delightful book that should be widely read." -- Robert Penn, author of The Man Who Made Things Out of Trees
"Alex Langlands is probably the only person who could have written this wonderful book, drawing as it does upon his extraordinary combination of experiences as an archaeologist and as somebody who has actively learned such a huge range of the traditional crafts which he explains. This is literally heritage in action, and artistry which produces practical rewards." -- Ronald Hutton, professor of British history, Bristol University, and author of The Triumph of the Moon

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