Laurie Lee

Down in the Valley
  • Down in the Valley

  • A moving, never-before-published portrait of the landscape that shaped the life of Laurie Lee, the beloved author of Cider With Rosie

    'Before I left the valley I thought everywhere was like this. Then I went away for 40 years and when I came back I realized that nowhere was like this.'

    Laurie Lee walked out of his childhood village one summer morning to travel the world, but he was always drawn back to his beloved Slad Valley, eventually returning to make it his home.

    In this portrait of his Cotswold home, Laurie Lee guides us through its landscapes, and shares memories of his village youth - from his favourite pub, The Woolpack, to winter skating on the pond, the church through the seasons, local legends, learning the violin and playing jazz records in the privy on a wind-up gramophone.

    Filled with wry humour and a love of place, Down in the Valley is a writer's tribute to the landscape that shaped him, and where he found peace.

Laurie Lee has written some of the best-loved travel books in the English language. Born in Stroud, Gloucestershire, in 1914, he was educated at Slad village school and Stroud Central School. At the age of nineteen he walked to London and then travelled on foot through Spain, where he was trapped by the outbreak of the Civil War. He later returned by crossing the Pyrenees, as he recounted in A Moment of War. Laurie Lee published four collections of poems: The Sun My Monument (1944), The Bloom of Candles (1947), My Many-Coated Man (1955) and Pocket Poems (1960). His other works include The Voyage of Magellan (1948), The Firstborn (1964), I Can't Stay Long (1975), and Two Women (1983). He also wrote three bestselling volumes of autobiography: Cider with Rosie (1959), which has sold over six million copies worldwide, As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (1969) and A Moment of War (1991).