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Ronald Blythe (Ronald George Blythe) Biography

(1922– ), (Ronald George Blythe), The Stories of Ronald Blythe, The Age of Illusion

age stories suffolk village

British author, born in Suffolk; he began by writing fiction and short stories, many of them based on gossip and ghost stories from his native county. The Stories of Ronald Blythe (1985) includes work published from 1957. With The Age of Illusion (1963), a study of England between the wars, he moved to highly literate sociological reflection. He is perhaps best known for his eloquent attention to the particular in two collections of taperecorded interviews from a typical Suffolk village. Akenfield: Portrait of an English Village (1969) opens with an evocative description of the place and the changes it has seen, then lets the people speak, from the ageing farm-worker to the gravedigger. The View in Winter: Reflections on Old Age (1979) uses the same method to provide a picture of old age and the taboos with which it is surrounded. Divine Landscape (1986, with photographer Edwin Smith) is an illustrated treatment of landscapes with literary associations. Blythe has also published essays and criticism, and has edited a number of anthologies, including Each Returning Day (1989), extracts from diaries, and Private Words: Letters and Diaries from the Second World War (1991).

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