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Book Title: After London|
The author of the book: Richard Jefferies
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 1959 times
Reader ratings: 3.2
Edition: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Date of issue: September 21st 2016
ISBN 13: 9781537785509
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 6.26 MB
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After some sudden and unspecified catastrophe has depopulated England, the countryside reverts to nature, and the few survivors to a quasi-medieval way of life. Beginning with a loving description of nature reclaiming England -- fields becoming overrun by forest, domesticated animals running wild, roads and towns becoming overgrown, the hated London reverting to lake and poisonous swampland -- the rest of the story is an adventure set many years later in the wild landscape. Show Excerpt ound their dogs abandon the fold, and join the wild troops that fell upon the sheep. The black wood-dogs hunt in packs of ten or more (as many as forty have been counted), and are the pest of the farmer, for, unless his flocks are protected at night within stockades or enclosures, they are certain to be attacked. Not satisfied with killing enough to satisfy hunger, these dogs tear and mangle for sheer delight of blood, and will destroy twenty times as many as they can eat, leaving the miserably torn carcases on the field. Nor are the sheep always safe by day if the wood-dogs happen to be hungry. The shepherd is, therefore, usually accompanied by two or three mastiffs, of whose great size and strength the others stand in awe. At night, and when in large packs, starving in the snow, not even the mastiffs can check them. No wood-dog, of any kind, has ever been known to attack man, and the hunter in the forest hears their bark in every direction without fear. It is, nevertheless, best to retire out of thei
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Read information about the author(John) Richard Jefferies (1848-1887) is best known for his prolific and sensitive writing on natural history, rural life and agriculture in late Victorian England. However, a closer examination of his career reveals a many-sided author who was something of an enigma. To some people he is more familiar as the author of the children’s classic Bevis or the strange futuristic fantasy After London , while he also has some reputation as a mystic worthy of serious study. Since his death his books have enjoyed intermittent spells of popularity, but today he is unknown to the greater part of the reading public. Jefferies, however, has been an inspiration to a number of more prominent writers and W.H. Hudson, Edward Thomas, Henry Williamson and John Fowles are among those who have acknowledged their debt to him. In my view his greatest achievement lies in his expression, aesthetically and spiritually, of the human encounter with the natural world – something that became almost an obsession for him in his last years.
He was born at Coate in the north Wiltshire countryside - now on the outskirts of Swindon - where his family farmed a smallholding of about forty acres. His father was a thoughtful man with a passionate love of nature but was unsuccessful as a farmer, with the result that the later years of Jefferies' childhood were spent in a household increasingly threatened by poverty. There were also, it seems, other tensions in the family. Richard’s mother, who had been brought up in London, never settled into a life in the country and the portrait of her as Mrs Iden - usually regarded as an accurate one - in his last novel, Amaryllis at the Fair , is anything but flattering. Remarks made in some of Jefferies’ childhood letters to his aunt also strongly suggest an absence of mutual affection and understanding between mother and son. A combination of an unsettled home life and an early romantic desire for adventure led him at the age of sixteen to leave home with the intention of traversing Europe as far as Moscow. In this escapade he was accompanied by a cousin, but the journey was abandoned soon after they reached France. On their return to England they attempted to board a ship for the United States but this plan also came to nothing when they found themselves without sufficient money to pay for food.
A self-absorbed and independent youth, Jefferies spent much of his time walking through the countryside around Coate and along the wide chalk expanses of the Marlborough Downs. He regularly visited Burderop woods and Liddington Hill near his home and on longer trips explored Savernake Forest and the stretch of the downs to the east, where the famous white horse is engraved in the hillside above Uffington. His favourite haunt was Liddington Hill, a height crowned with an ancient fort commanding superb views of the north Wiltshire plain and the downs. It was on the summit of Liddington at the age of about eighteen, as he relates in The Story of My Heart, that his unusual sensitivity to nature began to induce in him a powerful inner awakening - a desire for a larger existence or reality which he termed 'soul life'. Wherever he went in the countryside he found himself in awe of the beauty and tranquillity of the natural world; not only the trees, flowers and animals, but also the sun, the stars and the entire cosmos seemed to him to be filled with an inexpressible sense of magic and meaning.
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