(1905 - 1974)
"Sounds perfick!"

Herbert Ernest Bates, CBE, was a prolific and successful author in his own lifetime, publishing well over a hundred novels and collections of short stories.  He grew up in the rural heart of  Northamptonshire, and learnt from his father a deep love of the countryside which influenced most of his later writing.  During WWII he was commissioned into the RAF, his job being to write heroic tales of the pilots and aircrew in order to encourage the general public.  This commission led to his first commercial success with Fair Stood the Wind for France, published in 1944.  He and his wife moved to Kent where he developed into a keen and knowledgeable gardener, about which he wrote numerous books.  The Kent countryside also became the backdrop for what was to become his most enduring character creations – the Larkin family, who first appeared in The Darling Buds of May.

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