At The Field's Edge

Richard Hawking
Adrian Bell was farming and writing during a period when the English countryside underwent its most significant transformation for hundreds of years. His work, spanning sixty years from 1920 to 1980, not only documents this agricultural revolution, but also warns of the effects it will have both for the environment and for society. As these consequences dominate the English countryside today, Bell's views have relevance and importance to its future management. At the Field's Edge appraises Bell's prescient but still timely observations about the ecology, economy and culture of the British countryside, and introduces his beautifully crafted prose to a new generation of readers. Though he has been largely neglected until now, Bell's voice is one we should listen to, not least because he is one of our greatest writers about farming and rural life. If we pause at the field's edge with him for a moment, we get a lesson not only in aesthetic appreciation, but also a message about what is disappearing from the countryside.
At The Field's Edge by Richard Hawking

About the author

Richard Hawking's interest in the writing of Adrian Bell, rural communities and the countryside stems from his own time growing up on a small, 70-acre farm in Somerset. Like Adrian Bell, his father - and his uncle and grandfather - ran small mixed-method farms and they struggled to see the long-term wisdoms of the changes in agricultural practice in the mid-twentieth century. Richard furthered his interest in Bell's work with the creation of The Adrian Bell Society website, which he now edits. He also created and edits The Walter de la Mare Society website. Richard is currently an English Teacher at The Royal Grammar School, Worcester.

Press Reviews

This book has a mission to bring the work of Adrian Bell to bear on new problems for a wider public in the twenty-first century. In this, At the Field's Edge succeeds, and for this success, we owe a tip of the hat to Hawking as well as to Bell from our side of the Pond.

- Front Porch Republic online