In early 1921 the young Henry Williamson, traumatised by his experiences in the First World War, moved from London to a tiny cottage in North Devon, seeking solitude and renewal. Here he began to make his name as a writer with nature stories and sketches about rural life and his early novels; and here he wrote the Hawthornden Prize-winning 'Tarka the Otter' which remains the book for which he is probably best known today.
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<p><i>The Wet Flanders Plain </i>was first published in 1929 - also the year of, inter alia, Remarque's <i>All Quiet on the Western Front</i>, Graves's <i>Goodbye to All That</i>, and Hemingway's <i>A Farewell to Arms</i>. Henry Williamson's book stands alongside those works as a classic of the…
This short anthology serves as an introduction to Henry Williamson’s early writings about North Devon, which served to establish his reputation as perhaps the foremost British nature writer of the twentieth century.
There are extracts from Williamson’s classic novels 'Tarka the Otter' and 'Salar the Salmon', as well as from less well-known works including 'The Village Book', 'The Labouring Life', 'The Lone Swallows', 'The Pathway', 'The Children of Shallowford' and 'On Foot in Devon'. The extracts have been selected and edited by Tony Evans, who has also written accompanying explanatory notes, and Anne Williamson contributes a short biography which focuses on Williamson’s life in North Devon up to 1937, when he left to farm in Norfolk.
The selections are illustrated by contemporary photographs sourced from both local collections and Henry Williamson’s own albums, together with two maps of North Devon and Georgeham (the latter drawn by Williamson in 1932), the area today known as ‘Tarka Country’.