This month sees the release of Seven Tales and Alexander by H. E. Bates, the next title in our project to republish H. E. Bates’s collections, making them available again to loyal fans and to a whole new generation of readers.
Seven Tales and Alexander captures a spectrum of viewpoints, seeing the world through the wide eyes of childhood up to the restful watchfulness of old-age. On its original release in 1929 (The Scholartis Press), The New Statesman observed that Bates had ‘by seeing with a child’s eyes, found a world of marvellous and strange beauty, and has given the smallest shades of change and emotion the magnitude and drama they have in the minds of children and poets.’
H. E. Bates was born in 1905 in the shoe-making town of Rushden, where on leaving school he worked as a reporter and as a clerk in a leather warehouse. Many of his stories depict life in the rural Midlands, particularly his native Northamptonshire, where he spent many hours wandering the countryside. His well-known novels include Love for Lydia (1952) and The Feast of July (1954).
His most popular creation was the Larkin family which featured in five novels beginning with The Darling Buds of May in 1958. The later television adaptation was a huge success.