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‘Slightly Foxed is a very civilized way to appreciate books and writers. No shouting, no hype, just beautifully presented enthusiasms, most of which are irresistible.’ Michael Palin
Greetings from Hoxton Square, where we’re sending books and copies of the magazine to readers as quickly as we’re receiving deliveries of top-up stock and freshly printed titles from Smith Settle in anticipation of the coming season. A particular high point in the calendar will be our forthcoming Readers’ Day, on Saturday 6 November. We’re delighted to report that Michael Palin will be among the excellent contributors speaking at our usual London haunt, the Art Workers’ Guild in Queen Square. There’ll be a reduced audience for this year’s event to allow for social distancing. If you would like to join us, we advise booking now to avoid disappointment.
We’re delighted to bring you news of a Slightly Foxed special release: Adrian Bell, A Countryman’s Winter Notebook.
‘Bell writes always of the ordinary things, of the seasons, of memories, of rain and laughter. Gentleness fits him naturally, just as the purity of his words opens our eyes to a life all around us which we might otherwise never have seen.’ So wrote the journalist Clement Court of his contemporary, the farmer-cum-writer Adrian Bell, best known for his rural trilogy, Corduroy, Silver Ley and The Cherry Tree, which vividly describe a time before machinery took over much of the work of men and beasts, altering the landscape and the face of farming forever. In addition to the books that followed his famous trilogy, from 1950 to 1980 Bell wrote a weekly column called ‘A Countryman’s Notebook’ for Suffolk and Norfolk’s long-serving local paper, the Eastern Daily Press. His columns were, as his son Martin Bell says in his preface, ‘not really journalism but prose poems about the natural life around him’, and these essays share that which is common to all his writing – a deep appreciation of the small moments of each passing day. Now a selection of these beautifully crafted essays has been gathered together and introduced by Richard Hawking to form the first, we hope, of a quartet of Bell’s writings on the seasons.