A moving 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 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.
Age is taking Lee's eyesight but polishing up the anecdotes and deepening his characteristic note of wistfulness for a lost age ... It is a fine thing to revisit this writer's landscape and hear his amiable voice in it again.
Down in the Valley is truly evocative of time and place. A beautiful illustration of how, in some way, we are all indelibly influenced by the landscape of our childhood.
Cider with Rosie is a wonderfully vivid memoir of childhood in a remote Cotswold village, a village before electricity or cars, a timeless place on the verge of change. Read on for an extract.
It might not be snowing yet, and you may have to work until the 24th, but you can still get into the festive spirit with our selection of favourite Christmas reads.