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Old 08-03-2016, 03:36 PM   #1
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Country Idylls

I'm looking for recommendations for books, preferably in the public domain, which are set predominately in the countryside and have a happy theme; a sort of cheerful version of Thomas Hardy. I've read most of Hardy's novels, including Under the Greenwood Tree, his less depressed novel, but he's too gloomy for my present mood.

All recommendations welcome. Thanks.
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Old 08-03-2016, 11:56 PM   #2
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A Month in the Country by J. L. Carr

http://www.openlettersmonthly.com/ca...n-the-country/
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Old 08-04-2016, 08:00 AM   #3
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Are you looking for fiction (based upon mentioning Hardy)?
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Old 08-04-2016, 09:45 AM   #4
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Not public domain but maybe the H.E. Bates Pop Larkin series (Darling Buds of May etc).

Not really my genre but I believe they fit the "rural and happy" requirement.
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Old 08-05-2016, 11:44 AM   #5
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My mom recommends Anna Buchan (1877-1948) also known as O. Douglas.

I don't know how easy the books are to find in countries where she is still in copyright (Canadian here).
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Old 08-05-2016, 02:18 PM   #6
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Yes I am looking for fiction. I've downloaded Amazon's kindle version of Elizabeth Von Arnim's Collected Works:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00HIKEC...I3N8EVQHBQ9KO1
which was very reasonably priced, and have just downloaded Mary Webb's Precious Bane from the MR library, but I'm not sure whether that will have an element of persecution because of the cleft lip.

A Month in the Country would be great if it were under £1. I'm a cheapskate! (Cats to feed.) Wouldn't it be great to actually spend a month in the country for 99p?
Anna Buchan's books don't seem to be available as ebooks in the UK according to my search, but I did find some pbooks for about £1 plus postage.

Last edited by BookCat; 08-05-2016 at 02:22 PM. Reason: Noticed possible silliness :)
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Old 08-14-2016, 09:41 PM   #7
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I really enjoyed Old Herbaceous by Reginald Arkell, which I read last year.

Old Herbaceous is a classic British novel of the garden, with a title character as outsized and unforgettable as P. G. Wodehouse’s immortal butler, Jeeves. Born at the dusk of the Victorian era, Bert Pinnegar, an awkward orphan child with one leg a tad longer than the other, rises from inauspicious schoolboy days spent picking wildflowers and dodging angry farmers to become the legendary head gardener “Old Herbaceous,” the most esteemed flower-show judge in the county and a famed horticultural wizard capable of producing dazzling April strawberries from the greenhouse and the exact morning glories his Lady spies on the French Riviera, “so blue, so blue it positively hurts.” Sprinkled with nuggets of gardening wisdom, Old Herbaceous is a witty comic portrait of the most archetypal—and crotchety—head gardener ever to plant a row of bulbs at a British country house.

Got it from the Internet Archive - there were a few OCR errors, but not too aggravating IMO.

https://archive.org/details/oldherbaceou00arke
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Old 08-15-2016, 12:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitford13 View Post
I really enjoyed Old Herbaceous by Reginald Arkell, which I read last year.

Old Herbaceous is a classic British novel of the garden, with a title character as outsized and unforgettable as P. G. Wodehouse’s immortal butler, Jeeves. Born at the dusk of the Victorian era, Bert Pinnegar, an awkward orphan child with one leg a tad longer than the other, rises from inauspicious schoolboy days spent picking wildflowers and dodging angry farmers to become the legendary head gardener “Old Herbaceous,” the most esteemed flower-show judge in the county and a famed horticultural wizard capable of producing dazzling April strawberries from the greenhouse and the exact morning glories his Lady spies on the French Riviera, “so blue, so blue it positively hurts.” Sprinkled with nuggets of gardening wisdom, Old Herbaceous is a witty comic portrait of the most archetypal—and crotchety—head gardener ever to plant a row of bulbs at a British country house.

Got it from the Internet Archive - there were a few OCR errors, but not too aggravating IMO.

https://archive.org/details/oldherbaceou00arke
A proof-read version is available at http://www.fadedpage.com/showbook.php?pid=20110814 although I must warn that the site operates under Canadian copyright laws so those not Canadian must exercise due care.
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