August 2010 Guest Editor Veronica Henry on The Darling Buds of May...
The Larkins are a total contrast to the Corleones, but equally compelling. The characters and the setting are so wonderfully vivid – you can taste actually taste the strawberries and feel the sun on your back. And Ma Larkin is the ultimate domestic goddess –Bates’ descriptions of her legendary feasts leave your mouth watering.
'Home looks nice. Allus does though, don't it? Perfick' And so the Larkins - Pop, Ma, Mariette, Zinnia, Petunia, Primrose, Victoria and Montgomery - return from an outing for fish and chips and ice cream one May evening. There, amid the rustic charms of home, they discover a visitor: one Cedric Charlton, Her Majesty's inspector of taxes. Mr Charlton is visiting to find out why junk-dealer Pop hasn't paid his tax - but nothing's that simple at the Larkins. Mariette takes a shine to 'Charley' - as Pop calls him - and before long the family have introduced the uncomplaining inspector to the delights of country living: the lusty scents of wild flowers, the pleasures of a bottle of Dragon's Blood, cold cream dribbled over a bowl of strawberries and hot, hot summer nights. In fact, soon Charley can't see any reason to return to the office at all ...
Publication date: 30/11/2006
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
|Publication date:||30th November 2006|
|Publisher:||Penguin Books Ltd|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),|
H. E. Bates was born in 1905 at Rushden in Northamptonshire and was educated at Kettering Grammar School. He worked as a journalist and clerk on a local newspaper before publishing his first book, The Two Sisters, when he was twenty. In the next fifteen years he acquired a distinguished reputation for his stories about English country life. During the Second World War he was a Squadron Leader in the R.A.F. and some of his stories of service life, The Greatest People in the World (1942), How Sleep the Brave (1943) and The Face of England (1953), were written under the pseudonym ...More About H.E. Bates