Vintage £8.99 (273pp) (free p&p) from the Independent Bookshop: 0870 079 8897
The Worm Forgives The Plough, By John Stewart Collis
Friday 20 March 2009
"I am not quite normal in my love of the sun," mused this academic-turned-farmhand. "Especially in March". At the age of 40 in 1940, Collis volunteered for the Land Army. .
Published soon after the war, his beautifully written account of this time is amusing ("Swearing came as naturally to Arthur as leaves to a tree"), ironic ("hedging is not monotonous because each hedge is different ... but one can have enough of a good thing") and admirably objective.
"My liking for sheep is limited ... they feel bewildered ... Nor does the sniffing inquisitiveness of heifers appeal to me", though "Pigs are very attractive creatures". With disquisitions on topics ranging from ants to clouds, this is a most readable rural classic
To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthdaybooks
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