The Time by the Sea describes the first steps of an East Anglian journey, an intimate appraisal of a vivid and memorable time.
The Time by the Sea is about Ronald Blythe’s life in Aldeburgh during the 1950s. He had originally come to the Suffolk coast as an aspiring young writer, but found himself drawn into Benjamin Britten’s circle and began working for the Aldeburgh Festival. Although befriended by Imogen Holst and by E. M. Forster, part of him remained essentially solitary, alone in the landscape while surrounded by a stormy cultural sea.
With Britten he explored ancient churches; with the botanist Denis Garrett he took delight in the marvellous shingle beaches and marshland plants; he worked alongside the celebrated photo-journalist Kurt Hutton. His muse was Christine Nash, wife of the artist John Nash. Published to coincide with the centenary of Britten’s birth, this is a tale of music and painting, unforgettable words and fears.
A Private, Circumspect People
Shortly after the end of the Second World War, the Royal Society of Literature took out a long lease on a white stucco Bayswater house, formerly the home of General Sir Ian Hamilton, leader of the...Read more
When my old friend the artist John Nash died I inherited his books. I imagined him reading them by lamplight, just as I read when I was a boy, the twin wicks faintly waving inside the Swan glass...Read more
What do we lose when we become a nation of urbanites? A connection to nature, sometimes – though not necessarily. An awareness of the seasons, an understanding of the farming year; a sense of...Read more