Through the Woods by H.E. Bates

“A wood that we can see and taste and smell” Laura Beatty

H.E. Bates carried a woodland in his imagination. He fell under its spell as a boy growing up in the Midlands, becoming increasingly enchanted each time he stepped below the wooded canopy. Memory magnified its mystery over the years, enriching his stories as he grew successful as a writer. But why did this place become a part of him? What are the qualities of all woodlands that make them so special? Set in Kent, Bates returns to those trees of his youth to breathe life into the changing character of a single woodland year, revealing how precious they are to the English countryside.

Read Laura Beatty’s introduction

Paperback with flaps | 216 mm x 156 mm | 144 pages

Cover artwork by Nicholas Hely Hutchinson

Wood engravings by Agnes Miller Parker



In stock


H. E. BATES was born in Rushden, Northamptonshire, where he spent much of his youth wandering the footpaths of the surrounding countryside, often at night. After leaving school he worked as a reporter and a clerk in a shoe factory, where he wrote his first two novels between shifts. In  1931 he married Marjorie (Madge) Cox and they made their home in an old granary in Little Chart, Kent. Commissioned into the RAF to write short stories during the Second World War, he published under the pseudonym ‘Flying Officer X’. Described by Graham Greene as Britain’s successor to Chekhov, he wrote over a hundred novels and collections of short stories and was appointed CBE in  1973. Further success came posthumously with the adaptation for television of My Uncle Silas (1939), Love for Lydia (1952) and The Darling Buds of May  (1958).

Additional information

Weight350 g
Dimensions14 × 156 × 216 mm

1 review for Through the Woods by H.E. Bates

  1. Laura Beatty

    ‘If we follow HE Bates we find a wood that we can see and taste and smell, that closes over our heads with its loose canopy and its slim trunks and its patterns of light closely observed and reconstructed, a wood full of slow change, of a procession of leaves and flowers, rustling with the footfall of unseen creatures.’

    So writes Laura Beatty in her fantastic introduction to HE Bates’s Through the Woods, republished by the good folk at Caught by the River.

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