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The Campaign

The Song of the Wren

First Published in 1972 by Michael Joseph Ltd.

The Song of the Wren

The five pieces in this volume illustrate H.E. Bates immense versatility in his favourite form, the short story. The Man Who Loved Squirrels, set in a Kentish woodland, tells of an honest, innocent woodcutter driven to stark tragedy by the treachery of a money-grasping temptress and her husband. The Dam, set on Lake Maggiore, tells of the jealous passions ignited in a woman by a beautiful daughter. In The Tiger Moth another woman's treachery destroys a bomber pilot, in war-time, almost as completely as if he had been shot down on ops.

This, the darker side of Bates, is however relieved by the appearance of a new Bates comic eccentric, Miss Shuttleworth, who appears in both The Song of the Wren and Oh! Sweeter Than The Berry. This delightful, highly inconsequential spinster discharges a brand of craziness that leaves the reader in contemplation of a great question mark. Is she as crazy as all that or is she, in reality, far saner than those who think she is? The resulting paradox is in Bates' most delicious comic vein.

  1. The Song of the Wren
  2. The Dam
  3. The Man Who Loved Squirrels
  4. The Tiger Moth
  5. Oh! Sweeter Than The Berry

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