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An Aspidistra in Babylon: Four Novellas
Novella Collection
Page Count
Michael Joseph
Bloomsbury Publishing Ltd
Publication Year
Document Types
available as ebook

London: Michael Joseph, 1960; Boston, Toronto: Little, Brown and Co. (An Atlantic Monthly Press Book), 1960, with title The Grapes of Paradise. Four novellas that continue the exploration of unhappy love found in The Nature of Love (1953) and Death of a Huntsman (1957).

The Spectator calls Bates "a supreme anecdotalist, endowed with vast self-confidence and the gift of imagery ten times the size of life." The Times Literary Supplement says "as always, Mr. Bates has produced an immensely readable, uncomplicated and expert book" while also commenting that "Mr. Bates is assured of his readers, and this assurance gives a comforting air of ease to even hackneyed material."


  • Books and Bookmen (March 1960, p. 31, attached)
  • Hudson Review (Spring 1961, p. 133, Benjamin De Mott, attached)
  • New Statesman (February 20, 1960, p. 263, Naomi Lewis, attached)
  • New York Times (October 23, 1960, p. BR4, James Stern, attached)
  • Spectator (February 12, 1960, p. 228, John Coleman, attached)
  • Times (February 11, 1960, p. 13, attached)
  • Times Literary Supplement (February 12, 1960, p. 93, Marigold Johnson, attached)
  • Best Sellers (November 1, 1960, pp. 301-302, E.G. Jacklin, attached)
  • Punch (February 10, 1960, p. 239, attached)

Contains: An Aspidistra in Babylon, A Month by the Lake, A Prospect of Orchards, The Grapes of Paradise. ebook edition (Bloomsbury, 2016) also contains The Duet.