Rural Fantasies: Kenneth Grahame, T. H. White and others

  • Glen Cavaliero


Stilehouse Farm lay back from the road on the rising ground between Durham and Tarring Neville. The house, mellowed by age and sun, stood foursquare to the salt winds blowing inland from the Channel.

These are the opening sentences of Barren Lands by Nora Kent, which was published in 1926. Two years later appeared Endless Furrows, which begins as follows:

Mopbeggars Farm lay in a fold of the hills between two rises, and from where young Adam Harmer toiled in the oat-field on the other side of the brow he could see no more of the house than a single spiral of blue smoke from a chimney, flattened and twisted by the wind sweeping up the valley from the Channel.


Rural Life Village Woman Popular Fiction Rural Theme Single Spiral 
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  1. 1.
    Katherine Mansfield, Novels and Novelists (1930), p. 152, reviewing (favourably) Eric Leadbittet’s Shepherd’s Warning (1920).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    See Margaret Lane, ‘Flora Thompson’, in Purely for Pleasure (1967).Google Scholar
  3. 16.
    See W. S. Palmer and D. M. Haggard: Michael Fairless. Her Life and Writings (1913).Google Scholar
  4. 24.
    The Letters of D. H. Lawrence, ed. Aldous Huxley (1934), p. 578.Google Scholar
  5. 28.
    A similar dual notation attaches to the village of Kings Barton in John Cowper Powys’s Wolf Solent (1929), a novel which emcompasses this kind of rural fiction and uses its motifs for purposes of psychological exploration. In Lolly Willowes the psychic ambience of Great Mop is left unexamined.Google Scholar
  6. 31.
    For an account of T. F. Powys by Sylvia Townsend Warner, see Kenneth Hopkins, The Powys Brothers (1967), p. 129.Google Scholar

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© Glen Cavaliero 1977

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  • Glen Cavaliero

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