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The Writings of Richard Jefferies

April 2, 2013

Richard Jefferies is perhaps the greatest of the Victorian chroniclers of country life, the author of country books, rural and social history, novels and philosophy.

If you want to know what the Victorian countryside of southern England was like, then Jefferies is a good starting point.

It is refreshing to note so many new editions of his work appearing, mostly thanks to the hard work and campaigns of the magnificent Richard Jefferies Society (do visit their website at

The books and essays were many, astonishing considering Jefferies appallingly bad health and early death at 38.

From his early country books such as The Gamekeeper at Home, The Amateur Poacher, Round About a Great Estate, to the country essays in Nature Near London, The Hills and the Vale and Field and Hedgerow.

The later and best novels are After London (with the most astonishing of opening chapters), Amaryllis at the Fair and The Dewy Morn.

His philosophical autobiography The Story of my Heart is worth looking at, though you may need several reads to get to the truth of it.

I have been thinking a lot about Jefferies lately. He features quite a bit in my book on the art of trespassing (out later this month).

He is well worth a read.

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