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H. E. Bates (Herbert Ernest Bates) Biography

(1905–74), (Herbert Ernest Bates), The Two Sisters, The Fallow Land, The Poacher

novels short volumes include

British novelist and short-story writer, born in Northamptonshire. His first novel, The Two Sisters (1926), was followed by a stream of novels and short stories as well as plays, essays, gardening books, children's books, and several volumes of autobiography. He was at his best with the short story and acknowledged Guy de Maupassant as his major influence. Early novels such as The Fallow Land (1932) and The Poacher (1935) were mainly on rural themes, and his vivid descriptions of country landscapes, seasons, and country folk characterizes much of his work. During the Second World War he served as a Squadron Leader in the RAF, and published several volumes of war tales under the pseudonym ‘Flying Officer X’ as well as the highly popular novels Fair Stood the Wind for France (1944) and The Cruise of ‘The Breadwinner’ (1946); this period and his later wartime experiences in Burma and India, described in novels such as The Purple Plain (1947) and The Jacaranda Tree (1949), saw a broadening of background, a deepening of psychological insights, and a developing sombre and compassionate tone. Other novels include Love for Lydia (1952), The Darling Buds of May (1958), and The Triple Echo (1970). His many volumes of stories include The Woman Who Had Imagination (1934), The Flying Goat (1939), The Daffodil Sky (1955), and the posthumously published The Yellow Meads of Asphodel (1976).

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