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The Blossoming World. An Autobiography, Volume Two
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Michael Joseph
University of Missouri Press
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London: Michael Joseph, 1971 (October); Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1971. Illustrated by John Ward.
The other volumes of the trilogy are The Vanished World (1969) and The World in Ripeness (1972).

Bates's second volume of autobiographical memoir covers his career from 1926 to 1941, beginning with his meeting with Edward Garnett, his early literary mentor. He recalls time spent with Garnett, his wife Constance, and their son David and he talks of various other people influential in his early literary and personal life. Also covered is his marriage and the move to the Granary in Kent, some aspects of his family life, a trip to the United States, and the proposal by the Air Ministry that led to his work as "Flying Officer X." Primarily, Bates discusses his works as they were written and published, and his many literary influences.

The Times noted "its power to evoke...memories in the reader with a poignant simplicity and superb clarity of expression. It is a writer's life in progress described in splendid and fascinating detail."


  • Sunday Telegraph (October 31, 1971, p. 16, Rebecca West, attached)
  • Times (December 24, 1971, p. 8, Kay Dick, attached)
  • Times Literary Supplement (October 8, 1971, p. 1217, Arthur Calder-Marshall, attached)
  • Daily Telegraph (October 7, 1971, p. 10, David Holloway, attached)
  • Sunday Times (November 28, 1971, p. 40, Paul Jennings, attached)

Reprinted as part of The Ripening World (Robinson, 1972) and H.E. Bates: An Autobiography (Methuen, 2006).


The below reviews and articles are available in PDF format.