Ronald Blythe At the Yeoman's House

ISBN 13: 9781904634881

At the Yeoman's House

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9781904634881: At the Yeoman's House

When in 1947 the young writer Ronald Blythe first visited Bottengoms Farm on the Essex-Suffolk border, the ancient house of the artists John and Christine Nash, he could not have guessed that this would in time become his own home and the centre of the writing life. It was to bring him fame with publication of his study of rural life, Akenfield (1969), now a Penguin Modern Classic. The old farm nestled in a valley, in a landscape little changed since the middle ages, immediately surrounded by a richly stocked garden created by the Nashes from the flinty fields. From his current perspective, Blythe looks back with affection to the friendships with artists, writers, farmers, gardeners and neighbors that were to enrich his life. At the Yeoman’s House is not merely a spellbinding fragment of autobiography, but also a fascinating picture of the history, topography, botany and folk-lore of a beautiful corner of England made famous in the paintings of John Constable and through Blythe’s own enchanting books.

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About the Author:

Ronald Blythe has written novels, short stories, poetry, literary criticism and social history, all inspired by the landscape and people of his beloved East Anglia. He is best known for Akenfield: Portrait of an English Village, in which he sought to commit to paper the many unheard voices of a struggling Suffolk agricultural community. Now immortalized as a Penguin Modern Classic, Akenfield is widely recognized as one of the great depictions of English rural life. As an editor of Penguin Classics for more than twenty years, Blythe has edited modern versions of works by writers such as Thomas Hardy, Henry James and William Hazlitt,as well as a number of anthologies. In 2006 he received the Benson Medal, the highest honor of the Royal Society of Literature. He is also President of the John Clare Society, and continues to live the life of "a solitary man who is serene and not bitter and who loves nature and poetry."

Review:

"At the Yeoman’s House expands from the consideration of a single dwelling into a wonderful meditation on our place in the landscape, the marks we leave on it and the different ways we relate to it, whether cultivating it, painting it, or merely walking across it." —Peter Parker, Telegraph

"The whole book is a poem: sheer delight." —Spectator

"At the Yeoman’s House expands from the consideration of a single dwelling into a wonderful meditation on our place in the landscape, the marks we leave on it and the different ways we relate to it, whether cultivating it, painting it, or merely walking across it." —Peter Parker, telegraph.co.uk

"The whole book is a poem: sheer delight." —Andrew Lambirth, spectator.co.uk

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