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The Vanished World. An Autobiography, Volume One
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Argosy (UK)
Michael Joseph
University of Missouri Press
Publication Year
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London: Michael Joseph, 1969; Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1969. Illustrated by John Ward.
A section of the volume was published with the title "My Father and I" in Argosy (London, January 1970, xxxi, 1, pp. 58-61). The subsequent volumes of the autobiography are The Blossoming World and The World in Ripeness.

In the first of three volumes, Bates recollects his ancestors, childhood, education and life up to the acceptance of The Two Sisters in 1925. Bates writes of nature and village life, and of "an unsophisticated, almost naive enjoyment that our contemporary world of fast cars, planes, television and vast motorways never knows and will never know: a vanished world indeed." He writes of his family background, providing insight into his relationship with his maternal grandfather, George William Lucas, whose farm "afforded me the foundation on which all the joys of my childhood, together with all my feeling and love of the countryside, is based," and who was the most significant influence on Bates's core values and interests.

In the volume, Bates describes in detail his work as a reporter in the Rushden area, serving at the Wellingborough branch of the Northamptonshire Chronicle (events also treated in the essay "My Beginning."), his courtship days with Marjorie Cox (later to become his wife), and his early experiences as a writer.

The Times found the volume "a marvellously happy book...virtually free of that overflushed sensuality which has flawed much of his more recent fiction."


  • Canberra Times (March 14, 1970, p. 12, Maurice Dunlevy, attached)
  • Church Times (November 28, 1969, p. 5, attached)
  • New Statesman (November 28, 1969, Arthur Marshall, attached)
  • Spectator (October 25, 1969, p. 550, Peter Vansittart, attached)
  • Times (October 4, 1969, p. iv, Michael Ratcliffe, attached)
  • Times Literary Supplement (October 2, 1969, p. 1125, Arthur Calder-Marshall, attached)
  • Sunday Telegraph (September 28, 1969, p. 12, Rosanna Lloyd, attached)

Reprinted as part of H.E. Bates: An Autobiography (Methuen, 2006).