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Book review: Landscape with Figures: selected prose writings, By Richard Jefferies
Boyd Tonkin is Senior Writer and a columnist at The Independent. An award-winning journalist, he was formerly Literary Editor at The Independent, and before that Social Policy Editor and then Books Editor at the New Statesman magazine. He has broadcast extensively for BBC arts and current affairs programmes and has judged the Booker Prize, the Whitbread biography award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the David Cohen Prize. In 2001, he re-founded the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for literature in translation, and serves on its judging panel every year.
Friday 23 August 2013
Forerunner of the "new nature writing", but both more mystical and more political than his heirs, Wiltshire-born Richard Jefferies (1848-1887) had a short, sad but very productive life.
A visionary cross between Thomas Hardy and William Morris, but with a unique, unsettling edge to his prose, Jefferies wrote with troubled grace about rural people - and especially class conflict on the land - as well as the creatures and scenery he loved.
This welcome return for Richard Mabey's pick of essays and extracts reintroduces a great, and fresh, original.
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