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The Campaign

Love in a Wych Elm and Other Stories

First Published in 2009 by Capuchin Classics.

Love in a Wych Elm and Other Stories

The stories gathered here form a snapshot of an England (and to some extent a Europe) that is no more. Intensely vivid in their bucolic depiction, Bates' stories reveal a bygone England, from Northamptonshire during the First World War (The Gleaner) to the dying feudal order of pre-1950s England (The Evolution of Saxby).

Best known today for his riotous novels in The Darling Buds of May series, HE Bates, apparently content (as Peter Conradi tells us in his foreward) simply "to put the English countryside down on paper", must surely be regarded as one of the twentieth century's finest, if unjustly neglected, writers.

Graham Greene liked to compare HE Bates with Chekhov, considering Bates the best short story writer of his generation. This new selection by Bates' grandson, Tim Bates, shows why.

A Note on the Selection:

HE Bates published his first stroy in 1926 when he was just twenty and his last, exactly fifty years later, in his final posthumous collection. In between he wrote ceaselessly, producing over 300 stories and novellas. This is the first collection of his short stories selected from the entire span of his writing career since Bates' own selection, Seven by Five, in 1961, and the first new selection of any kind since the early 1980s.

Like Seven by Five it does not include any of the stories in the Uncle Silas or Flying Officer X series because I share Bates' own view that those stories belong to entirely different and separate categories.

I have attempted to illustrate the full range of Bates' short story fiction, from the very early impressionistic sketches written in the 1920s, and the critically acclaimed stories of the 1930s, to the fully realized narrative pieces he published after the enormous international successes of his post-war novels. In each instance, those of the stories are based on the texts of the first volume publication.

Tim Bates


  1. Harvest
  2. The Gleaner
  3. The Bath
  4. The Plough
  5. Cut and Come Again
  6. The Case of Miss Lomas
  7. Something Short and Sweet
  8. Chateau Bougainvillaea
  9. I Am Not Myself
  10. Shot Actress - Full Story
  11. Old
  12. The Ferry
  13. Time Expired
  14. A Christmas Song
  15. The Evolution of Saxby
  16. Go, Lovely Rose
  17. The Watercress Girl
  18. Love In A Wych Elm
  19. Now Sleeps The Crimson Petal
  20. Where The Cloud Breaks

Currently in print with Capuchin Classics.

Buy it now from Waterstones

Buy it now from Amazon.co.uk

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