Becoming a member of the LoveReading community is free.

No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.

New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…

Find out more

Beauty of the Dead and Other Stories

by H.E. Bates

Beauty of the Dead and Other Stories Synopsis

The Beauty of the Dead (Jonathan Cape, 1940) featuring fifteen stories, was released to critical acclaim. Pamela Hansford Johnson wrote in John O'London's Weekly that "all have that delicate luminosity by which visions are seen more clearly than in the bright sunlight." 'Old' is a snapshot of an elderly man no longer appreciated or respected by his children and extended family during a Sunday tea. He finds a companion in his seven-year-old grand-niece, making animal shapes out of biscuits and eventually falling into a "mesmeric peace" as she brushes his hair. There is a glimpse of Bates's childhood experiences in 'Quartette', written through the eyes of a music director. The story accounts the attraction between two of the singers which the director worries is breaking up the group, yet on their last song he can feel "the passionate quality of their singing transcending the small hot room and the small bewildered minds". Bates had much personal knowledge of choirs and singing through his father, who was a choir director.'The Bridge' is narrated by a twenty-two-year-old woman while she and her older sister vie for the attention of the same man. The Spectator praised it as "a masterly short story...courageously conceived thick with symbolism, it is a triumphant display of control."For the first time, this collection features the comic bonus story 'Obadiah'. After a tough, poverty-stricken childhood, Obadiah's scheme to make his fortune begins with a pig. He wanted neither children nor romance, but a partner in business, so when he meets a widow with similar values, he wins her over in what becomes a comic sketch of a bickering couple a rare and brilliant piece of caricature in Bates's canon. Published in the New Clarion (1933), and not republished since.

Book Information

ISBN: 9781448215119
Publication date: 15th March 2016
Author: H.E. Bates
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Bloomsbury Reader
Format: eBook
Categories: Short stories,

About H.E. Bates

More About H.E. Bates

More Books By H.E. Bates

Cover for The Darling Buds of May by H.E. Bates
View All Books By H.E. Bates

Share this book