The Adrian Bell Society came into being in 1996 with the aim of encouraging a wider interest and appreciation in the life and works of Adrian Bell. The Society holds at least two meetings each year, publishes two Journals, and…
Wednesday 3 October 2018 Dedham Assembly Rooms, Essex The Munnings Art Museum’s second birthday lecture was a wonderful opportunity to hear life stories from broadcaster and former politician, Martin Bell OBE, in a beautiful setting. Like Sir Alfred Munnings, Bell grew up in the Waveney Valley on the Suffolk/Norfolk border and his father, farmer, writer and first Times crossword compiler Adrian Bell was friends with Munnings in the 1930s.
Slightly Foxed and Harris & Harris Books We celebrated the launch of our special limited edition of The Cherry Tree, the final book in Adrian Bell’s celebrated trilogy of Suffolk country life between the wars, at Harris & Harris Books in Clare on a sunny summer’s evening in July.
The writer Adrian Bell first arrived in Suffolk in 1920 – a delicate young would-be poet, fresh from public school at Uppingham and the polite drawing-rooms of Chelsea, under pressure from his father, who was news editor of the Observer, to get a proper job. He was, he says, ‘flying from the threat of office life’ when he first presented himself for work on the farm of an old-established farming family in the countryside near Bury St Edmunds.
‘I just wanted to tell you all how very much I have enjoyed Adrian Bell’s Corduroy. It is a magical description of a vanished time, very evocative in so many ways and has kept me engrossed far beyond my usual lights out time . . .’
‘I wanted to thank you for introducing us to Adrian Bell, who both my husband and I have really enjoyed. I did not think I would at all, in fact out of all your editions I thought his sounded like the one I would least enjoy – and then somehow I read Corduroy and was mesmerized. It is so beautiful, one of those books which is about nothing and yet everything . . .’
The middle volume of Adrian Bell’s inter-war farming trilogy, Silver Ley (1931), is, in its quiet, unassuming way, the most poignant memoir I think I have ever read. Picking up where his first book Corduroy left off, it opens in 1921 as Bell wakes up for the very first time on his own Suffolk farm, full of hope, with two newly bought heavy horses, Darkie and Dewdrop, stamping in the yard . . .
We are delighted to announce that the winner of the Biographers’ Club Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize 2018 is Bart van Es for The Cut Out Girl.
‘“Those are good pigs,” he said, “aren’t they?” If he had said they were bad pigs I should have agreed with him equally. Their shape meant nothing to me. “Good length,” he explained, “broad in the back and not too much head.” I strove to see it, but no person can appreciate the points of a pig till he has dwelt long with them. Looking back, I cannot tell at what point I began to know a good pig from a bad one. The farmer’s eye is as subtle as the artist’s.’
We are delighted to announce that the winner of the Biographers’ Club Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize 2017 is Edmund Gordon for The Invention of Angela Carter.
This woodcut by C. F. Tunnicliffe illustrated Slightly Foxed Editor Hazel’s article on The Cherry Tree
Summer has arrived at No. 53 Hoxton Square with the publication of the 54th issue of Slightly Foxed: The Real Reader’s Quarterly and our 38th limited edition hardback, Adrian Bell’s The Cherry Tree. In the weeks preceding the Bank Holiday, the good people of…
The trees are in full deep green leaf now, making a small oasis of Hoxton Square, while not fifty yards away the traffic roars past along Old Street. New regulations to cut down air pollution in London are on the way we learn, but now the fumes hang heavily in the summer air as we make for the office, dodging people coming in the other direction who seem to be talking to themselves but are actually on their mobile phones. As Jane Austen’s great hypochondriac Mr Woodhouse observes, ‘Nobody is healthy in London, nobody can be.’ For many of us these days it’s a hurrying, worrying world . . .
How long had I been standing here under the old cherry tree? Minutes or years? While the storm with its batteries of thunder deployed across the sky, letting fall but a few drops – for all its growling – which the boughs above me caught and shook till they sparkled . . .
Early copies of the Summer issue of Slightly Foxed have arrived in Hoxton Square, ready to be sent out to subscribers and bookshops all around the world in time for its release on 1 June. We don’t want to spoil…
Summer is almost upon us at Slightly Foxed. The printers in Yorkshire and office foxes in Hoxton are knee-deep in boxes of crisp creamy quarterlies, newly minted books and mounds of bubble-wrap and packing tape in preparation for the dispatch of the summer issue of the quarterly. Subscribers can look forward to receiving it towards the end of the first week of June, and with it be transported to Mandalay with Justin Marozzi, across the channel with Joanna Kavenna, into the world of Whigs with Michael Holroyd, to Nowhere with Travis Elborough . . . but we mustn’t give too much away!
With all the hype they get, one might think that farmers’ markets are a new thing. That might be the case in terms of finding a few rashers of organic beech-smoked, thick-cut, rare breed bacon in deepest central London, but…