Buy all three volumes of The Adrian Bell Trilogy together for a small discount.
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.
In this captivating sequel to Corduroy Adrian Bell describes the hardships and happiness of setting up on his own farm. The story opens in 1921 as Bell wakes, full of hope, to start his new life at Silver Ley. This second book in Bell’s farming trilogy is a quietly observed and unsentimental picture of a rural world and a way of life which was even then fading.
In this final volume of his trilogy Bell makes a happy marriage and settles down with his wife Nora on their own small farm. But behind this cheerful picture lurks the shadow of the growing agricultural depression and the passing of an old rural order, which Bell, with his poet’s eye and farmer’s knowledge, records in poignant detail.
‘Some of the most poetic yet down-to-earth accounts ever written of life in the English countryside’ Hazel Wood
From the Farmhouse Window
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...Read more
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...Read more
Bell’s first book has the virtues which allow it to transcend its times: acute observation, sincerity and that simplicity of style which does not date. Published in 1930, it portrays a way of life...Read more
How long had I been standing here under the old cherry tree?
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...Read more
‘Quite simply a delight . . .’
‘Dear Slightly Foxed, I look both Ms Mantel and Mr Bell away with me. I wasn’t sure how I’d get on with Giving up the Ghost but I found her view on memory very interesting. How right she is too...Read more
‘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...Read more
‘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...Read more
‘Blessings for being a bright spot in my life . . .’
‘I have just finished devouring Corduroy and Silver Ley and am hoping that you will publish the third book in the trilogy. My husband is a farmer in a small way (they’re all small in New England)...Read more
‘What makes Corduroy such an enjoyable book is the way he writes about the experience.’
The majority of the book is Bell being introduced to a task, doing it badly, and getting better. What makes Corduroy such an enjoyable book is the way he writes about the experience. He is never...Read more
A Countryman’s Notebook: Adrian Bell and the Loss of Rural Culture
Adrian Bell, most well-known for Corduroy and his ‘Rural Trilogy’, was a farmer-writer whose work reflects the changes in farming between 1920 and 1980. In the second half of his life,...Read more