My Favourite Village Stories Summary
From the My Favourite series - favourite stories on different themes by different authors, each volume edited by a celebrity in the field. Villages are all stories, of course, writes Ronald Blythe, introducing this selection of his favourites. In any village, where past and present interleave, stories emerge, coloured by landscape and weather, and shaped by the villagers' lives. For villages are made up of people, from the families who have lived there for generations to the gypsies camping in the lane. Here are Hardy's villagers whose simple compassion cannot avert a neighbour's tragedy; Lawrence's men and women trapped in a small community and set on edge by the unfailing brilliance of a new spring; George Mackay Brown's shepherds and tinkers whose story is as bleak and terse as a ballad. Here is a squire puffed up with self-importance, a gamekeeper calm with self-respect, a priest with the strength of a stevedore, a blacksmith who put his faith in the old ways, a policeman full of malice, a delectable doctor. A child is made welcome at farmhouse tea, with pikelets and plum cake, home-cured ham and sherry trifle - village life at its most comfortable and reassuring. But an old woman in the raw poverty of Dulditch would sooner be robbed by her own kin than be carried to the workhouse. There is humour in this collection, and poetry, and drama, for village stories are as individual as the people who make them.
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My Favourite Village Stories
Edited by Ronald Blythe
James Clarke & Co Ltd
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