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The Nature of Love (Michael Joseph, 1953) was Bates's first published collection of novellas.It contains three stories, different in weight but similar in texture, drawing from rural landscapes and the sensitive, poignant studies of the people that bring them to life. Dulcima, dedicated to W. Somerset Maugham, is a tale of a simple girl in rural England whose manipulation of both an old widower and a young forest worker has tragic results. In 1971, EMI Productions released a film adaptation starring Carol White and John Mills. The Grass God is a literary portrait of Fitzgerald, a landowner who is unfeeling in the treatment of his tenants and his wife, who, whilst bumbling through a summer affair with a young beauty, gets a taste of his own medicine. Further afield, The Delicate Nature follows a young man to the Malaysian jungle to assist a plantation owner, but enters into an affair with his wife. For the first time, this collection includes the bonus story 'Old Lady' which continues the retrospective theme and the dalliances of young romance.