H.E. Bates

Photo:H.E. Bates

H.E. Bates


1905         Born 16 May, Essex Street, Rushden

1916         Starts education at KetteringGrammar School

1921         Leaves school and works for 'The Northamptonshire Chronicle' and later as a clerk in a leather dressers but leaves when his first novel is accepted for publication

1925         His first book 'The Two Sisters' accepted for publication by JonathanCape. At this time taken under wing of Edward Garnett a reader for Cape and an influential London literary critic

1931         Marries Marjorie Helen (Madge) Cox and moves to live in Kent. Has four children, two daughters and two sons with her

1940            'My Uncle Silas' stories based on his maternal great-
uncle published. First popular success

1941        Joins RAF as Flight Lieutenant, later reaching rank of Squadron Leader. Writes under name of 'Flying Officer X', publishing 'The Greatest People in the World' (1942), 'How Sleep the Brave' (1943) and other short stories concerning the RAF

1944         Publishes 'Fair Stood the Wind for France' under his own name. Sent to South-East Asia, he publishes 'The Purple Plain' (1947), 'The Jacaranda Tree' (1949) about the War in Burma and India and 'The Scarlet Sword' (1950) about Kashmir

1958         Publishes 'The Darling Buds of May', the first in the series of books, 'A Breath of French Air' (1959), 'When the Green Woods Laugh' (1960), 'Oh! To be in England' (1963) and 'A Little of What You Fancy' (1970) chronicling the doings of the Larkin family

1971         Publishes his last work of fiction 'The Triple Echo'

1973         Awarded CBE

1974          Dies 29 January at Canterbury survived by Madge and
his four children

This page was added by Chris Leuchars on 27/02/2008.

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