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The Daffodil Sky, first published in 1955 (Michael Joseph), mixes eclectic characters travelling to foreign lands with poetic treatments of rural life in Bates's Northamptonshire. 'A Place in the Heart' is set in Asia against a colourful backdrop of rickshaws and ceremonial drumming. An Englishman, shortly before returning home, romances a local girl in this tale of lost love when his inarticulate and flippant goodbye is achingly contrasted with her disappointment.Closer to home, 'The Evolution of Saxby', one of Bates's best-known stories, concerns a cold, controlling woman who buys, decorates and sells one house after another. Challenging this notion of constant movement and progress is her sweet but helpless husband, who wants only to settle down and garden in a place to call home.The Times noted that "there is no better writer of straightforward short stories...Mr. Bates writes simply; his instinct is a deep compassion." This collection illustrates his ability both to feel deeply, and then to reflect sensitively on the page.