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HENRY WILLIAMSON (1895 – 1977) was born in Brockley, south-east London. After leaving school he enlisted in the London Rifle Brigade and served as a private in the Flanders trenches, where he was present for the Christmas Truce of 1914. His experiences of the First World War continued to surface in his writing, most notably in the semi- autobiographical series of books A Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight (1951-1969). He moved to north Devon in 1921, where, inspired by the books of Richard Jefferies, Williamson started writing lyrical essays and stories about wildlife, which included his two most popular and critically acclaimed creations: Tarka the Otter (1927) and Salar the Salmon (1935). He was awarded the Hawthornden Prize for Literature in 1928, and with the £100 prize money bought a field and built himself a hut, where Salar was written.

Watch Henry Williamson talk about his writing in a BBC interview of 1965.

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