Shop H.E. Bates Online
Selected Short Stories of H.E. Bates.
Story Collection
Page Count
Jonathan Cape
Pocket Books
Publication Year
Document Types
Literary Criticism

London: Pocket Books, by arrangement with Jonathan Cape, 1951.

Eighteen stories originally published between 1930 and 1940 and selected from volumes published by Jonathan Cape before Bates's move to publisher Michael Joseph in 1944. Included are titles that would be on any list of Bates's best work, such as "The Mill," "The Station," "The Mower," and a representative Uncle Silas tale, as well as some surprising inclusions such as the less successful "Waiting Room" and "I Am Not Myself." Eight of the later (and more questionable) selections were also included in another Cape compilation, the 1947 Thirty-One Selected Tales.

In the preface (attached) Bates mistakenly places the stories as gathered from the mid 1920s, with one story later than 1940; however thirteen are dated 1934-1940, and the remaining four are dated 1930-1931. The preface also contains reflections on the popularity of novels and the relative unpopularity of short stories, opinions similar to those expressed more fully in other works. "In the art of the short story the contribution demanded of the reader is greater, more subtle, than that demanded in the novel...The reader must search beyond the printed page, and explain for himself those things that the writer, in the restraint of his craft, has only partially revealed." "

Contains: Preface; The Mill; Waiting-Room; The Station; Beauty's Daughters; A Flower Piece; The Mower; A Threshing Day for Esther; Death in Spring; The Beauty of the Dead; The Bridge; The Earth; The Loved One; Chateau Bougainvillaea; The Ox; I Am Not Myself; Mr. Penfold; The Sow and Silas.


The below reviews and articles are available in PDF format.