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Oh! to be in England Paperback – 30 Nov 2006


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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (30 Nov. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141029668
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141029665
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 0.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,613 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

H. E. Bates was born in 1905 in Northamptonshire. He worked as a journalist and clerk on a local newspaper before publishing his first book, The Two Sisters, when he was twenty. In the next fifteen years he acquired a distinguished reputation for his stories about English country life. During the Second World War he was a Squadron Leader in the R.A.F. The Darling Buds of May, the first of the popular Larkin family novels, was followed by A Breath of French Air (1959), When the Green Woods Laugh (1960), Oh! To Be in England (1963). His works have been translated into sixteen languages. H. E. Bates was awarded the C.B.E. in 1973 and died in January 1974.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
As Pop Larkin loaded the last pieces of junk into his newly painted yellow-and-scarlet pick-up all the essence of the fine June morning seemed to pour down like dreamy honey from thick boughs of oak-flower, gold-green against a sky of purest blue, unblemished except for a few floating white doves of cloud. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 31 Dec. 2000
Format: Audio Cassette
This is the last of the Larkin Chronicles and has a real sense of poignancy about it. In a more gentle way it reminds me of Hardy's mourning for the end of an era in his Wessex novels. Here Pop has to deal with an influx of Teddy boys who want to ruin the farm. Although victorious you feel that he knows that it is only a temporary measure and the golden days of summer cannot last forever. A sensitive and gently funny book about the end of a dream.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Luthien Arnatuile on 17 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback
Bates uses his fantastic language in this fourth novel about Pop Larkin and his eccentric family in the Kentish countryside. It has it's funny moments thanks to his extraordinary word choices and descriptions of things. But unfortunately the storyline in this fourth book is much weaker than the previous ones.
It's a sentimental ode to an England that is disappearing. In a way the book resembles his short story collections more than a novel since he this time does not have a real thread throughout the book and seems to have had lots of different ideas for it. It starts with a story on how Pop decides on humiliating an arrogant Captain. But that story has nothing to do with the rest of the book. Then there is violence in form of modern youths deciding to pick on old-fashioned villagers and customs. One does not want things to really go THAT dark in a Pop Larkin novel where everything is always so wild, funny and cozy. What the book mostly is about though is the christening of Pop's youngest son, Oscar who has turned 3 years old and that of his two month old grandson, Blenheim. All the Larkin children decide to get christened at the same time as "the babies" and a character from book two, Mademoiselle Dupont, shows up in this novel as a godmother. But Bates does not really follow up on her character that well. He concentrates more on the fact that Ma has started to paint nudes, especially of daughter Mariette who has just become a mother, and he also deals a lot with the fact that the now 14-year old Primrose Larkin, tries to seduce the interim priest in the parish.
Can I recommend the book? Yes, because I think that the fifth and final novel will much build on this one and that is how I felt when I read this book: It's a book one must get through to understand and enjoy the next one.
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By John on 16 Jun. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A classic - England protrayed in the microcosm of Kent - whether it is made in Kent or Kentish made either way the result is quintessentially English
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By Merry on 5 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As in other reviews of H.E.Bates work, love it takes one back to a world where people mattered more than wealth, when manners made man not what was in their bank accounts, Pa Larkin is such a lovable rogue
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
We had a hard copy of this but as it was one of our favourites, we wanted it on our Kindle Paperwhite
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