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Through the Woods
  • ISBN: 9781908213020
  • Pages: 144
  • Illustrations: Agnes Miller Parker
  • Publisher: Little Toller
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Introduction: Laura Beatty

Through the Woods

H. E. Bates

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H. E. Bates carried a woodland in his imagination. He fell under its spell as a boy growing up in the Midlands, becoming increasingly enchanted each time he stepped below the wooded canopy. Memory magnified its mystery over the years, enriching his stories as he grew successful as a writer. Set in Kent, Bates returns to those trees of his youth to breathe life into the changing character of a single woodland year, revealing how precious they are to the English countryside. This Little Toller edition is illustrated throughout with Agnes Miller Parker’s engravings.

Reviewed by Matt Collins in Slightly Foxed Issue 62.

Small Is Beautiful


His lyrical yet down-to-earth reflections upon the life of a little wood – a chestnut copse just outside the village of Little Chart Forstal in Kent, where he spent the greater part of his adult life – were ones I could always relate to. Like the very best nature writing they highlighted the remarkable within the unremarkable, the uncommon buried beneath the common, weaving the many different elements of a wood into an engaging, spirited narrative. Through the Woods is a book I wanted to quote from to the point of plagiarism: the best nature writing, I would argue, is often produced by novelists . . .

Extract from Slightly Foxed Issue 62, Summer 2019

Small Is Beautiful

Among the books I’d assembled to help steer me through the boundless subject of trees and woodlands for a recent commission, H. E. Bates’s Through the Woods – a month-by-month account of a...

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