International Guild of Knot Tyers

Russell’s Book of Useful Knots by John Russell

Russell’s Book of Useful Knots by John Russell

Arco Pub. 1982 ISBN 9780668053723

This book is about working knots, those that you tie where and when you want them, using no tools but your hands, and cast off again when their work is done. The selection is sound, 26 reliable knots clearly described and portrayed by black & white photographs. We are not told if the muscular chap with the suntan and white beard is the author; but, as just about every shot is on board a boat or alongside, there is on implicit message (reinforced by the glossary) that knots are almost exclusively for boating types. Tallulah Bankhead is quoted; “There is less in this than meets the eye” and certainly what research there is appears to stop with Ashley. Still, it’s a competent little work and - if the price hasn’t escalated in the 5 years this book has taken to come to my notice - it would be a good buy for the spouse of any weekend sailor feeling the need to keep up with the other half.

G.B.