Breakfast the Night Before: Recollections of an Irish Horse Dealer
By: Marjorie Quarton
“I defy anyone, even the non-horsy minded, to dip into Breakfast the Night Before and put it down without reading to the end. This special blend of humour crosses the divides of age, sex, religion and social standing.” —The Irish Times
This sparkling memoir gives a personal view of Irish rural life from the Economic War of the 1930s to the farming boom and recession of the 1970s. It describes the upbringing of a Protestant only child on a farm near Nenagh in north Tipperary-an idyll interrupted by school in Dublin during the 1940s. Taking over the farm on her father’s death, working the land and animals (dogs, sheep, horses, cattle), the author recounts with great humour, acuity and poignancy her dealings, from the age of seventeen, at fairs throughout the country-Limerick, Kilrush, Cahirmee, Thurles, Ballinasloe, Spancilhill, Clonmel-a lone woman in a man’s world.
With rare brio and eye for character, incident and idiosyncrasy, Quarton lovingly documents a world of country people, eccentric relatives, home cures and recipes, and unaffected living. Breakfast the Night Before is both entertaining and enduring.
“It makes riveting reading and I was desperately disappointed when I reached the final page all too soon. Marjorie Quarton is a natural storyteller” —Grania Willis, The Irish Field
“Mrs Quarton writes with wit. Her experiences are related in a lovely, dry style which does not conceal her deep love for horses and understanding of that strange animal which is the human being. Breakfast the Night Before is a passport to another world that anyone can enjoy, and I recommend it highly.” —Morgan Llwelyn, author of Lion of Ireland and The Horse Goddess
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