A picture of the bomber pilot as near to the truth as we on the outside are likely to get
No other book on the British flier-or any other flier for that matter-has the sharp, authentic note Flying Officer Bates has written into his work ... If there were decorations for this sort of thing, H. E. Bates would have the highest
New York Times
His material is, of course, magnificent, and he makes very moving use of it
About the Author
H. E. Bates was born in 1905 in the shoe-making town of Rushden, Northamptonshire, and educated at Kettering Grammar School. After leaving school, he worked as a reporter and as a clerk in a leather warehouse. Many of his stories depict life in the rural Midlands, particularly his native Northamptonshire, where he spent many hours wandering the countryside. His first novel, The Two Sisters (1926) was published by Jonathan Cape when he was just twenty. Many critically acclaimed novels and collections of short stories followed. During WWII he was commissioned into the RAF solely to write short stories, which were published under the pseudonym "Flying Officer X". His first financial success was Fair Stood the Wind for France (1944), followed by two novels about Burma, The Purple Plain (1947) and The Jacaranda Tree (1949) and one set in India, The Scarlet Sword (1950). Other well-known novels include Love for Lydia (1952) and The Feast of July (1954). His most popular creation was the Larkin family which featured in five novels beginning with The Darling Buds of May in 1958. The later television adaptation was a huge success. Many other stories were adapted for the screen, the most renowned being The Purple Plain (1947) starring Gregory Peck, and The Triple Echo (1970) with Glenda Jackson and Oliver Reed. H. E. Bates married in 1931, had four children and lived most of his life in a converted granary near Charing in Kent. He was awarded the CBE in 1973, shortly before his death in 1974.