Men and the Fields by Adrian Bell

‘The best rural literature of the 20th century.’ Ronald Blythe

Adrian Bell’s travels through East Anglia and lowland Britain capture the character of the countryside before modern agriculture altered the landscape and changed forever the way we eat and live. This new edition restores the original colour lithographs and black and white line drawings by John Nash that appeared in the first edition.

Read the full introduction by Ronald Blythe

Paperback with flaps | 210 mm x 156 mm | 160 pages

Jacket and internal illustration by John Nash


In stock


Adrian Bell was born in Lancashire, grew up in London, and was educated at Uppingham School. Poor health kept him from university, and in 1920 he apprenticed himself to a farmer in West Suffolk. Later farming on his own account, his first books, the trilogy Corduroy (1930), Silver Ley (1931) and The Cherry Tree (1932), were based on his early experiences of life on the land in East Anglia. Continuing to farm and write books, he also worked as a freelance journalist, and was the compiler of the first Times crossword puzzle in 1930, contributing many more puzzles over the years, as well as weekly articles for the Eastern Daily Press.

Additional information

Weight350 g
Dimensions14 × 156 × 216 mm

1 review for Men and the Fields by Adrian Bell

  1. Ronald Blythe

    Ronald Blythe is a national treasure. The publication of Akenfield: Portrait of an English Village in 1969 was a milestone: it reawoke the long tradition of writing about the English landscape which harks back to Gilbert White, John Clare, Richard Jefferies and Edward Thomas, and has since its publication inspired subsequent generations of authors and poets like Richard Mabey, Alice Oswald and Robert Macfarlane to tred similar ground. From his yeoman’s cottage in Suffolk, the house where the artist John Nash lived after the Second World War, Ronald Blythe has continued to write daily – letters, diaries, short stories, poems, novels, histories – and has in the last forty-five years become one of the most important observers and chroniclers of English rural life.

    In his introduction to Men and the Fields , published in full by the Guardian, Ronald Blythe describes the unique friendship and collaboration between John Nash and Adrian Bell which lead to the first edition being published on the eve of the Second World War.

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