To be published on 18 January 2022, with 32 full colour illustrations by Bernard Bowerman, taken from the first edition.
At last she reached the brow of the hill … now the country opened out below her and she looked down into a wide and lovely valley … Still patched with snow the little fields spread like a carpet below her and here and there a farmhouse with barns and golden ricks was clearly seen. Across the plain ran, straight as a ruler, a railway line and she saw a toy train puffing and crawling across the picture.
Malcolm Saville’s classic novel from 1946 is about eleven-year old Jane’s discovery of nature and country life during a year spent convalescing on her uncle’s farm, after having been dangerously ill in post-war London. The novel is also a record of rural England eighty years ago, written by one of the great twentieth-century English nature writers.
The Introduction is written by Hazel Sheeky Bird of the University of Newcastle.
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This novel was written while Saville was extending his range as a writer, alongside his very successful Lone Pine adventure series, and nature anthologies for children. Moor End Farm, where Jane spends a year discovering the birds and animals living around her, is based on a farm in Wheathamstead, Hertfordshire, where Saville had lived. Inspired by the experiences of Saville’s own god-daughter, this marvellous novel is full of the wonder of discovery, as well the happiness of regaining health, making friends, and learning to love the natural world.