JOCELYN BROOKE (1908-1966) was born in Sandgate, Kent. Unhappy at school in Canterbury, he ran away twice before being sent to Bedales. After publishing a collection of poetry in 1927, he dropped out of Oxford University and worked in various London bookshops before joining the family wine business. During the Second World War he enlisted in the Royal Army Medical Corps, which he rejoined after being demobbed because he could not settle into civilian life. The Military Orchid launched his literary career and enabled him to leave the army. He became a producer for the BBC, but resigned after four months, settling back in Kent, at Bishopsbourne, to write A Mine of Serpents (1949), The Goose Cathedral (1950) and The Image of a Drawn Sword (1950). He was a founder member of the Kent Trust for Nature Conservation and published two botanical works, The Wild Orchids of Britain (1950) and The Flower in Season (1952).
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