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A Rural World: Corduroy & Country Boy


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Adrian Bell, Corduroy 

When Adrian Bell left London in 1920 to learn agriculture on a Suffolk farm, like many townies he assumed at first that the locals were somewhat simple. But soon his own ignorance and inability to do the most basic physical tasks taught him a new respect. He grew to love the land, and Corduroy is filled with precise and poetic descriptions of the countryside and of farming life. Not merely a period piece, it captures what is unchanging about the lives of those who live from, rather than simply on, the land. (Slightly Foxed Paperbacks • 288 pages • RRP £12)

Richard Hillyer, Country Boy

Richard Hillyer was the pseudonym used by Charles Stranks, a farmworker’s son who grew up in great poverty in a remote Buckinghamshire village in the years before and during the First World War. Country Boy is the extraordinary and moving story of how, against incredible odds, he managed to educate himself and get to university. Written with almost painful honesty, it is both an unsentimental picture of rural life in the early years of the last century, and a deeply poetic evocation of the unspoilt English countryside and its effect on the imagination of a lone and sensitive boy. (Slightly Foxed Edition no. 22 • 256 pages • RRP £18.50)

‘One of those books which is about nothing and yet everything . . .’

‘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...

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‘A magical description of a vanished time . . .’

‘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...

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