Reading Jefferies (R20)


Reading a few books for the first time, but mostly re-reading with new eyes what’s been on my shelves for many years, I’ve been struck by the drift of Jefferies’ way of putting things together, his cast of mind, notably his way of making contrasts between this & that: in essays, reportage and novels (where […]

THE EARLY NOVELS OF RICHARD JEFFERIES 1


In depicting character Jefferies uses what TSEliot was later to describe as an ‘Objective Correlative’. The early novels deserve re-assessment. Pre-amble In Richard Jefferies: his life and his ideals (1905), writing about the novels, HSSalt (1851-1939 campaigner for social reform, animal rights, vegetarian, socialist, and pacifist, literary critic, biographer, classical scholar and naturalist) reflects that […]

READING IN A TIME OF PLAGUE (R18)


It is suggested that one result of Lockdown is that people are reading books. Wow! They haven’t been doing that? In the last three months I’ve had my habitual average read for the last 60 years – 15 quite demanding books. I have been described as a ‘chain reader’. Having completed my third or fourth […]

Richard Jefferies & Zen Buddhism (R17)


THE INTRODUCTION TO MY BOOK OF FOUND HAIKU FROM RICHARD JEFFERIES SOMETHING BEYOND THE STARS MORE OR LESS AS IT APPEARED IN 1993 Something Beyond the Stars may be of interest to at least three kinds of people: Richard Jefferies enthusiasts; adherents of Zen Buddhism and haiku fanatics. Assembling it, I found myself wearing all […]

Edward Thomas (R15)


Back in the summer of 2018, I found myself offering some guidance to my grandson who, for his A Level studies, was then in the business of making a literary comparison between The Old Ways by Robert Macfarlane and Edward Thomas’ The South Country. A lovely hard-back copy of the latter had been on my […]

TELL ME, SHEPHERD BOY (R13+)


This piece of writing, done at the end of March 1993, had been dawning on me since I was about ten when, on Friday afternoons, for a whole year we went into Mr Bullivant’s classroom to listen to him read stories which I never heard because I was too busy drinking in the painting which […]

Adventures in Contentment (R7)


I make no apology for the length of this Glob which was drafted during the COMA Music Summer School in High Melton, near Doncaster, in August 2013 in the gaps I organised for myself between exquisite sessions of music & laughter. It formed a counterpoint to the music. It’s a celebration of an old book, […]