But, however that may be, one day, as we came in unexpectedly from a voyage in the punt, something was discovered burning among the logs on the kitchen hearth; and, though a desperate rescue was attempted, nothing was left but the barrel of our precious gun and some crooked iron representing the remains of the lock. There are things that are never entirely forgotten, though the impression may become fainter as years go by. The sense of the cruel injustice of that act will never quite depart. But they could not burn the barrel, and we almost succeeded in fitting it to a stock of elder.
John Richard Jefferies (6 November 1848 - 14 August 1887) was an English nature writer, noted for his depiction of English rural life in essays, books of natural history, and novels. His childhood on a small Wiltshire farm had a great influence on him and provides the background to all his major works of fiction. Jefferies's corpus of writings covers a range of genres and topics, including Bevis (1882), a classic children's book, and After London (1885), a work of science fiction. For much of his adult life he suffered from tuberculosis, and his struggles with the illness and with poverty also play a role in his writing. Jefferies valued and cultivated an intensity of feeling in his experience of the world around him, a cultivation that he describes in detail in The Story of My Heart (1883). This work, an introspective depiction of his thoughts and feelings about the world, gained him the reputation of a nature mystic at the time, but it is his success in conveying his awareness of nature and people within it, both in his fiction and in essay collections such as The Amateur Poacher (1879) and Round About a Great Estate (1880), that has drawn most admirers. Walter Besant wrote of his reaction on first reading Jefferies: "Why, we must have been blind all our lives; here were the most wonderful things possible going on under our very noses, but we saw them not." (wikipedia.org)
They burned the old gun that used to stand in the dark corner up in the garret, close to the stuffed fox that always grinned so fiercely. Perhaps the reason why he seemed in such a ghastly rage was that he did not come by his death fairly. Otherwise his pelt would not have been so perfect. And why else was he put away up there out of sight?--and so magnificent a brush as he had too. But there he stood, and mounted guard over the old flintlock that was so powerful a magnet to us in those days. Though to go up there alone was no slight trial of moral courage after listening to the horrible tales of the carters in the stable, or the old women who used to sit under the hedge in the shade.
This edition of the classic work on the early English poacher was first published in 1901. Contents Include: The First Gun - The Old Punt, A Curious 'Turnpike' - Tree Shooting, A Fishing Expedition - Egg Time, A 'Gip' Trap - Woodland Twilight, Traitors on the Gibbet - Lurcher-Land 'The Park' - Oby, And His System, The Moucher's Calendar - Churchyard Pheasants: Before The Bench - Luke, The Rabbit-Contractor: The Brook Path - Farmer Willum's Place: Snipe-Shooting - Ferreting: A Rabbit-Hunter - A Winter Night: Old Tricks: Pheasant Stalking: Matchlock Versus Breechloader - Conclusion. Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. Home Farm Books are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.
This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work. This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work. As a reproduction of a historical artifact, this work may contain missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. We appreciate your support of the preservation process, and thank you for being an important part of keeping this knowledge alive and relevant.
This original and thought-provoking book is based on the 800,000-word diary of James Cox, an itinerant labourer living in New Zealand between 1880 and 1925. Cox's diary is a rare record of the daily life of a permanent member of the colonial working class - nothing like it exists in a New Zealand archive and little elsewhere. Rather than reproducing selections of the somewhat down-to-earth diary entries, Fairburn uses it more interestingly, taking the life of this obscure and unimportant man to explore in novel and ambitious ways some issues in writing and understanding nineteenth-century New Zealand history, colonial societies and working-class experience.
Along with Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, Edward Thomas is by any reckoning a major first world war poet. A war poet is not one who chooses to commemorate or celebrate a war, but one who reacts against having a war thrust upon him. His great friend Robert Frost wrote 'his poetry is so very brave, so unconsciously brave.' Apart from a most illuminating understanding of his poetry, Dr Wilson shows how Thomas' life alone makes for absorbing reading: his early marriage, his dependence on laudanum, his friendships with Joseph Conrad, Edward Garnett, Rupert Brooke and Hilaire Belloc among others. The novelist Eleanor Farjeon entered into a curious menage a trois with him and his wife. He died in France in 1917, on the first day of the Battle of Arras. This is the stuff of which myths are made and posterity has been quick to oblige. But this has tended to obscure his true worth as a writer, as Dr Wilson argues. Edward Thomas's poems were not published until some months after his death, but they have never since been out of print. Described by Ted Hughes as 'the father of us all', Thomas's distinctively modern sensibility is probably the one most in tune with our twenty-first century outlook. He occupies a crucial place in the development of twentieth century poetry. This is the extraordinary life of a poetic genius.
Richard Jefferies was the most imaginative and least conventional of nineteenth-century observers of the natural world. Trekking across the English countryside, he recorded his responses to everything from the texture of an owl's feather and 'noises in the air' to the grinding hardship of rural labour. This superb selection of his essays and articles shows a writer who is brimming with intense feeling, acutely aware of the land and those who work on it, and often ambivalent about the countryside. Who does it belong to? Is it a place, an experience or a way of life? In these passionate and idiosyncratic writings, almost all our current ideas and concerns about rural life can be found. Richard Jefferies (1848-1887) was the son of a Wiltshire farmer. He never worked the land but made his living from writing, trekking across the countryside with his notebook. He spent much of his life struggling against poverty and tuberculosis, which would eventually kill him at the age of thirty-nine. As well as being in many ways the father of English nature writing, Jefferies also wrote the classic children's book Bevis and the apocalyptic science-fiction novel After London. Richard Mabey's introduction to his selection of Jefferies' work discusses the author's life, his views on the paradoxes of rural life and his place in the tradition of nature writers.