Books

Village Christmas

Laurie Lee

From the author of Cider With Rosie, Village Christmas is a moving, lyrical portrait of England through the changing years and seasons.

Laurie Lee left his childhood home in the Cotswolds when he was nineteen, but it remained with him throughout his life until, many years later, he returned for good. This collection brings to life the sights, sounds, landscapes and traditions of his home - from centuries-old May Day rituals to his own patch of garden, from carol singing in crunching snow to pub conversations and songs. Here too he writes about the mysteries of love, living in wartime Chelsea, Winston Churchill's wintry funeral and his battle, in old age, to save his beloved Slad Valley from developers.

Told with a warm sense of humour and a powerful sense of history, Village Christmas brings us a picture of a vanished world.

I Can't Stay Long

Laurie Lee

'They are memorials to times and countries whose best is probably past and gone . . . I was lucky to have known them when I did, before darkness began to fall from the air.'

When Laurie Lee first left his country village aged nineteen, he discovered a delight in the outside world that remained undiminished throughout his writing life. This enchanting collection of his 'first loves and obsessions' brings together pieces including recollections of his Gloucestershire childhood celebrated in Cider With Rosie; reflections on life, love and death, such as a moving report from the tragic Welsh village of Aberfan; and evocative travel writings on Tuscany, Mexico and the West Indies, amongst others, before they were transformed by mass tourism. Together they capture a world that is lost forever.

'One of Britain's finest writers' Daily Mail

'There's a formidable, instant charm in the writing that genuinely makes it difficult to put the book down' New Statesman

As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning

Laurie Lee

As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning is a beautiful and moving follow-up to Laurie Lee's acclaimed Cider with Rosie

Abandoning the Cotswolds village that raised him, the young Laurie Lee walks to London. There he makes a living labouring and playing the violin. But, deciding to travel further a field and knowing only the Spanish phrase for 'Will you please give me a glass of water?', he heads for Spain. With just a blanket to sleep under and his trusty violin, he spends a year crossing Spain, from Vigo in the north to the southern coast. Only the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War puts an end to his extraordinary peregrinations . . .

'He writes like an angel and conveys the pride and vitality of the humblest Spanish life with unfailing sharpness, zest and humour' - Sunday Times

'There's a formidable, instant charm in the writing that genuinely makes it difficult to put the book down' - New Statesman

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. In 1950 he married Catherine Polge and they had one daughter.

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). He died in May 1997.

Red Sky at Sunrise

Laurie Lee

A beautiful new edition of Laurie Lee's celebrated autobiographical trilogy: Cider with Rosie, As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning and A Moment of War

'I was set down from the carrier's cart at the age of three; and there with a sense of bewilderment and terror my life in the village began.'

'This trilogy is a sequence of early recollections, beginning with the dazzling lights and sounds of my first footings on earth in a steep Cotswold valley some three miles long. For nineteen years this was the limit of my world, then one midsummer morning I left home and walked to London and down the blazing length of Spain during the innocent days of the early thirties. Never had I felt so fat with time, so free to go where I would. Then such indulgence was suddenly broken by the savage outbreak of the Civil War . . .' - Laurie Lee

A Moment of War

Laurie Lee

A Moment of War is the powerful and harrowing final book in Laurie Lee's acclaimed trilogy that began with Cider with Rosie

Laurie Lee was still a young man when he decided to fight for the Republican cause in Spain's civil war. But though he braved icy, storm-swept mountains alone to contact Republican sympathisers, he was immediately suspected of being a Nationalist spy. Imprisoned and almost executed by his own side, he eventually joined the International Brigade. This is the story of his experiences as a Republican soldier, fighting for the losing side in a doomed war.

'A great, heart-stopping narrative of one young Englishman's part in the war in Spain . . . crafted by a poet, stamping an indelible image of the boredom, random cruelty and stupidity of war' - Literary Review

'This story aches with unforgotten cold and trembles with unforgotten terror' -Guardian

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. In 1950 he married Catherine Polge and they had one daughter.

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), A Rose for Winter (1955), 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). He died in May 1997.

Biography

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).