We are delighted to release The Woman Who Had Imagination by H. E. Bates as part of our ongoing project to reissue the complete H.E. Bates short story collections, bringing these classic works to a new audience.
The Woman Who Had Imagination, H.E. Bates’s fourth volume of stories, first published in 1934, is a fascinating collection of contrasts. The stories combine elements of realism and poetry, beauty and ugliness, tenderness and irony. Graham Greene, writing in the Spectator, lauded the collection as ‘the first volume of Mr. Bates’s maturity’ and Bates as ‘an artist of magnificent originality with a vitality quite unsuspected hitherto’.
Also included in The Woman Who Had Imagination are two additional stories, ‘The Country Doctor’ and ‘The Parrot,’ only ever published before in magazines and a limited edition.
Bates’ stories often explore country life, the sadness, joy, humour and darkness in what may be seen as a simpler way of life. He writes intimate character studies against vivid rural landscapes and beautifully captures a spectrum of emotions from innocent childhood and early adolescence, to wise and experienced old age.