H. E. Bates was born in 1905 in Northamptonshire. He worked as a journalist and clerk on a local newspaper before publishing his first book, The Two Sisters, when he was twenty. In the next fifteen years he acquired a distinguished reputation for his stories about English country life. During the Second World War he was a Squadron Leader in the R.A.F. The Darling Buds of May, the first of the popular Larkin family novels, was followed by A Breath of French Air (1959), When the Green Woods Laugh (1960), Oh! To Be in England (1963). His works have been translated into sixteen languages. H. E. Bates was awarded the C.B.E. in 1973 and died in January 1974.
They are absolute comfort books . . . All five titles are being
rereleased just in time for summer * The Lady *
Pop is as sexy, genial, generous, and boozy as ever. Ma is a worthy match for him in all these qualities -- - * The Times *
'Pop Larkin, Ma and their progeny . . . are essentially English of the rich and ribald England of Chaucer and Shakespeare. A superb and timeless comedy' -- - * Scotsman *
As funny as Evelyn Waugh and as enchanting as Laurie Lee's Cider with Rosie. Don't miss it -- - * Herald *
The Larkins live - these novels please us by escaping definition -- - * Guardian *
Like Wodehouse's Jeeves, Bates' Larkins must continue in their own delightful milieu - the Kentish countryside -- - * New York Times *