The Folk of The Forest is the third volume of Mark Billen’s stories developed from reminiscences of rural life in southern England. Tall tales recounted in the village pub are lubricated by enough ale to float an oil tanker. We are presented with a buffet feast of memorable characters: a poacher, an omniscient grandmother, appalling Auntie Madge, a workshy village bobby, an octogenarian couple still enjoying the high life, various crooks and rogues, a tipsy clergyman and many more. The human subjects of Billen’s stories are accompanied by a whole menagerie of animals: foxes, pheasants, dogs, horses, incontinent cattle and even a beloved teddy bear. As readers of earlier volumes will expect, many of the tales are humorous, yet nostalgic for a way of life that has been swept away by modernity.