Bevis: The Story of a Boy

by Richard Jefferies. Paperback, Dent, 1996, reprinted 1981; with an Introduction by Henry Williamson.



Book condition: good.
No image set
Price: £3.00
Description

 

The publisher's blurb for the Dent Everyman Library edition (1966) states: 'Richard Jefferies was one of those writers who remembered their boyhood all their life. He made an epic of it in Bevis: The Story of a Boy, published five years before his death in 1887. "Bevis" is Jefferies himself with a number of autobiographical touches, as he lived his early years at the farmhouse in Coate, a hamlet not far from Swindon. Here, as well as the garden and pleasant fields surrounding his home, was a sizeable lake, which became "the New Sea" when he wrote Bevis.

 

'Never were the horizons of boyhood so limitless in imagination as the adventures of Mark and Bevis on this wide stretch of water, and the discovery of the island they called New Formosa. We owe the idyllic settings, the interaction of nature and the human spirit, the magnificence of the prose, to the rare quality of the writer's temperament which readily sought a kinship with nature in his early years. Thus it is Jefferies's observation that sets him apart, and makes him the writer he is. As Henry Williamson says, "He saw what other men did not see, or were too preoccupied by the problems of earning a living, to bother about". Every page of Bevis is a testament to this – Bevis seeing the stars "consciously for the first time, at midnight on the Island, filled with a miraculous feeling". We may read Bevis from cover to cover at an early age, but "the magic does not depart with the turning of the last page", for we have entered "a world we will never forget".