The Henry Williamson Society

Henry Williamson: A brief look at his Life and Writings in North Devon in the 1920s and '30s (e-book)

Henry Williamson: A brief look at his Life and Writings in North Devon in the 1920s and '30s (e-book)

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This short anthology serves as an introduction to Henry Williamson’s early writings about North Devon, which established his reputation as perhaps the foremost British nature writer of the twentieth century. There are extracts from Williamson’s classic novels Tarka the Otter and Salar the Salmon, as well as from less well-known works, illustrated by contemporary photographs.


Selected and edited by Tony Evans; introduction by Anne Williamson, illus., pp. 52, paperback, Henry Williamson Society, 2001; e-book 2014


In early 1921 the young Henry Williamson, traumatised by his experiences in the First World War, moved from London to a tiny cottage in North Devon, seeking solitude and renewal. Here he began to make his name as a writer with nature stories and sketches about rural life and his early novels; and here he wrote the Hawthornden Prize-winning Tarka the Otter which remains the book for which he is probably best known today.

This short anthology serves as an introduction to Henry Williamson’s early writings about North Devon, which served to establish his reputation as perhaps the foremost British nature writer of the twentieth century.

There are extracts from Williamson’s classic novels Tarka the Otter and Salar the Salmon, as well as from less well-known works including The Village Book, The Labouring Life, The Lone Swallows, The Pathway, The Children of Shallowford and On Foot in Devon. The extracts have been selected and edited by Tony Evans, who has also written accompanying explanatory notes, and Anne Williamson contributes a short biography which focuses on Williamson’s life in North Devon up to 1937, when he left to farm in Norfolk.

The selections are illustrated by contemporary photographs sourced from both local collections and Henry Williamson’s own albums, together with two maps of North Devon and Georgeham (the latter drawn by Williamson in 1932), the area today known as ‘Tarka Country’.


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