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"The English Countryside."
Page Count
Word Count
London Calling
Publication Year
Document Types
Full-text Online
Nature Writing
Kent, Rural Living

One of twenty essays originally broadcast as talks by their authors over the "Empire Service" of the B.B.C., for the most part in a series called "To Talk of Many Things."

The talks were intended "to give listeners an occasional relaxation from news Bulletins, War Commentaries, and the like," and they were transmitted over short-wave to listeners world-wide. Other speakers included J.B. Priestley, Hugh Walpole, and W. Somerset Maugham. Bates relates a morning country walk in 1940, and reflects on various sights and sounds, wartime crops (with an indication that he is addressing above all English soldiers abroad), and mushroom picking. He closes with an anecdote about ducks and wasps, and brings together the qualities of a successful talk (in contrast to a written essay) that are delineated in the editor's introduction.

Three decades later, in "A Countryman Remembers — Where Once I walked", Bates would write again about the topic, and how his customary walk in Kent had changed over time.

In London Calling - The Overseas Journal of the BBC (August 15, 1940, no. 49, p. 8),The English Spirit (ed. Anthony Weymouth, London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1942, pp. 35-39, attached).


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