Shop H.E. Bates Online
ID
a103
Title
The Distant Horns of Summer
Genre
Novel
Page Count
280
Word Count
86000
Publisher
Michael Joseph
Publication Year
1967
Topics
Childhood, Adultery

London: Michael Joseph, 1967.

Departing both thematically and stylistically from his previous work, Bates's final novel explores the imaginary lives of two characters — six-year-old James, neglected by his globe-trotting parents, and his seventeen-year-old governess, Gilly — and their struggles with deceit and disappointment. The title is inspired by lines in William Blake's "The Schoolboy."

Anne Britton, in Books and Bookmen, writes that 'it is some years since H.E. Bates wrote a book aimed so directly at the emotions. It has a rare, haunting quality.' The Church Times stated that 'the merit of this novel lies in the portrayal of the child. James emerges as a remarkable creation of the novelist's art...And over all broods the spirit of the English countryside which Mr. Bates is a past master at embodying in his haunting prose.'

Reviews:

  • Books and Bookmen (October 1967, p. 49, Anne Britton, attached)
  • Church Times (September 22, 1967, p. 5, attached)
  • Punch (September 13, 1967, R.G.G. Price, attached)
  • Spectator (September 8, 1967, p. 274, Peter Vansittart, attached)
  • Daily Telegraph (September 7, 1967, p. 21, Frederick Laws, attached)
  • Sunday Times (September 3, 1967, p. 31, Mary Conroy, attached)

Downloads

The below reviews and articles are available in PDF format.