The Henry Williamson Society

A Clear Water Stream

A Clear Water Stream

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Product Information

Hardback, Faber & Faber, first edition, 1958.
Book condition: very good, with dust wrapper. Front flyleaf has numerous signatures, the book presumably being presented to a colleague.

The publisher's blurb to the first edition of this much loved clasic states: 'At one period of his life, Henry Williamson lived in a secluded valley, beside a trout stream running through a deer park. The stream had its source on Exmoor, the water was faintly amber, the fish were small. He set out with zest to improve his fishery. With help from his landlord, he put in large trout from a hatchery, feeding them by hand; and a wonderful sight they were, seen from the ornamental bridge. He came to know every individual fish – the Clown, for example, a reformed cannibal – and had no desire to catch them; they were to be preserved as stock fish, fairly safe from otters and herons, in the deep pool below the bridge.

'The first problem was how to increase the natural food supply. Dams must be made, some from the limestone and gravel, some of wire netting blocked with driftleaves; half-ruined fenders and pen-stocks by old stone weirs had to be opened to let up sea-trout and salmon; poachers had to be placated; weeds and the water-buttercup were introduced. These spread like rabbits and on moonlit nights, and often before dawn, he was in the river, scything, pulling, hauling, loading tons of the wet green stuff into a trailer behind his car. When the labour and the anxiety became too much he fled to Canada and to Florida for fishing holidays, but the problems sorted themselves. Mr. Williamson sees it all as a comedy; and out of his years of observation of a clear trout stream has come a happy, engaging and often deeply beautiful book.'

(For a further consideration of the book and the background to the writing of it, see Anne Williamson's A Clear Water Stream.)

Product CodeHWS67

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