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ID
b209
Title
"The Watercress Girl."
Genre
Story
Page Count
19
Word Count
4950
Publisher
Argosy
Mademoiselle
Publication Year
1953
Document Types
Film & Television
Evensford (setting)
Topics
Boyhood

Recalling Bates's boyhood in the countryside surrounding Rushden (here set in the fictional Evensford) and the title story in a collection of other stories in similar vein, the narrator remembers traveling by horsecart with his grandfather to a large gathering of eccentric aunts and uncles, and spending an idyllic afternoon visiting with an older girl of nine or ten gathering watercress. Years later, returning for a family funeral, he meets the grown "watercress girl," now a stylish married woman, living in the nearby block of new houses. The story bears comparison with earlier works such as "Alexander" and "The White Pony," as well as the Uncle Silas tales. In Mademoiselle (November 1953), Argosy (August 1954), The Watercress Girl and Other Stories (1959), Seven by Five/The Best of H.E. Bates (1963), The Poison Ladies and Other Stories (1976), Elephant's Nest in a Rhubarb Tree & Other Stories (1989), Love in a Wych Elm and Other Stories (2009).