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Laurie Lee was born in Stroud, Gloucestershire, in 1914, and was educated at Slad village school and Stroud Central School. At the age of nineteen he walked to London and then travelled on foot through Spain, where he was trapped by the outbreak of the Civil War. He later returned by crossing the Pyrenees, as described in his book As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning. In 1950 he married Catherine Polge and they had one daughter.
Laurie Lee published four collections of poems: The Sun My Monument (1944), The Bloom of Candles (1947), My Many-Coated Man (1955) and Pocket Poems (1960). His other works include The Voyage of Magellan (1948), a verse play for radio; A Rose for Winter (1955), which records his travels in Andalusia; The Firstborn (1964); I Can't Stay Long (1975), a collection of his occasional writing; and Two Women (1983). He also wrote three bestselling volumes of autobiography: Cider with Rosie (1959), which has sold over six million copies worldwide, As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (1969) and A Moment of War (1991), which are also published by Penguin in a single volume entitled Red Sky at Sunrise (1992).
Laurie Lee died in May 1997. In its obituary The Guardian wrote, 'He had a nightingale inside him, a capacity for sensuous, lyrical precision', and the Independent praised him as 'one of the great writers of this century whose work conjured up a world of earthy warmth and beauty'.
"A Moment of War" is the magnificent conclusion to Laurie Lee's autobiographical trilogy begun in "Cider with Rosie" and "As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning". It was December 1937 when the young Laurie Lee crossed the Pyrenees and walked into the bitter winter of the Spanish Civil War. With great vividness and poignancy, Lee portrays the brave defeat of youthful idealism in Auden's 'low dishonest decade'.
A moving, never-before-published portrait of the landscape that shaped the life of Laurie Lee, the beloved author of Cider With Rosie 'Before I left the valley I thought everywhere was like this. Then I went away for 40 years and when I came back I realized that nowhere was like this.' Laurie Lee walked out of his childhood village one summer morning to travel the world, but he was always drawn back to his beloved Slad Valley, eventually returning to make it his home. In this portrait of his Cotswold home, Laurie Lee guides us through its landscapes, and shares memories of his village youth - from his favourite pub, The Woolpack, to winter skating on the pond, the church through the seasons, local legends, learning the violin and playing jazz records in the privy on a wind-up gramophone. Filled with wry humour and a love of place, Down in the Valley is a writer's tribute to the landscape that shaped him, and where he found peace.
Aus der Sicht eines Kindes erzahlt Laurie Lee von seinem weltabgeschiedenen, englischen Dorf, wo er inmitten einer Natur aufwachst, die alles aufbietet, was eine kindliche Fantasie befeuern kann: das blendende Licht des Tages, das die Kinder dazu verfuhrt, sich streunend zu verlieren, die gerauschdurchwirkte Dunkelheit der Nacht, in die man sich besser nicht hinauswagt. Hier hat sich seine energische Mutter mit ihren sieben Kindern niedergelassen. Ihr Mann hat sich nach London abgesetzt und uberlasst es dieser ebenso schillernden wie einfachen Frau, die Kinder grozuziehen. Cider mit Rosie ist eine der schnsten Kindheitserinnerungen in der Literatur des 20. Jahrhunderts. In viele Sprachen bersetzt und mehrfach verfilmt, ist Laurie Lees weltberhmter Roman in einer neuen bersetzung zu entdecken.
';Laurie and Johnny Lee have shown tremendous strength and courage since a tragic car accident claimed the life of their son, Josh. Their ability to share the story of Josh's death while dealing with their own personal grief is awe-inspiring. Encouraging others to ';Just Finish the Race' is shared with love, respect, humility, and brutal honesty and it encourages others to realize that they will have battles but they just have to fight to overcome them. Laurie's poetry, which is raw and filled with emotions that only a parent who has lost a child could experience, is equally commendable. Just like their message, her poems tell what inspiration Josh was and how numerous people were touched by the way he lived his life.'
How do you remember the summers of your childhood? For Laurie Lee they were flower-crested, heady, endless days. Here is an evocation of summer like no other - a remote valley filled with the scent of hay, jazzing wasps, blackberries plucked and gobbled, and games played until the last drop of dusk. Lee's joyful and stirring writing captures the very essence of England's golden season. Selected from the book Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee 'An enchanting book, an exquisite farewell, not only to childhood, and boyhood, but also to an England that has vanished' J.B. Priestly VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS.
'Magical' Daily Mail 'I finished it with an ache in my heart and a tear in my eye' Spectator From the author of Cider With Rosie, Village Christmas is a moving, lyrical portrait of England through the changing years and seasons. Laurie Lee left his childhood home in the Cotswolds when he was nineteen, but it remained with him throughout his life until, many years later, he returned for good. This collection brings to life the sights, sounds, landscapes and traditions of his home - from centuries-old May Day rituals to his own patch of garden, from carol singing in crunching snow to pub conversations and songs. Here too he writes about the mysteries of love, living in wartime Chelsea, Winston Churchill's wintry funeral and his battle, in old age, to save his beloved Slad Valley from developers. Told with a warm sense of humour and a powerful sense of history, Village Christmas brings us a picture of a vanished world. 'Brings to life the landscapes and traditions of Lee's home in Gloucestershire, from centuries-old May Day rituals and carol-singing on Christmas Eve, to his battle in old age to save his beloved Slad valley from developers' Guardian 'Simply written, observant and shot through with Lee's characteristic humility ... Against his whitewashed prose are touches of beauty' The Times Literary Supplement
Ein kleines Zelt, eine in eine Wolldecke eingewickelte Geige, Wasche zum Wechseln und eine Dose Kekse: Das ist die ganze Ausrustung Laurie Lees, als er an einem strahlenden Junimorgen sein Heimatdorf in Gloucestershire verlasst und sich auf den Weg nach London macht. "e;Neunzehn Jahre war ich alt, noch nicht trocken hinter den Ohren, aber ich verlie mich auf mein Glck."e; Mithilfe seines Geigenspiels schlgt er sich als liebenswrdiger, alle Eindrcke intensiv erlebender Vagabund zunchst bis London durch. Da Laurie weder ein anderes Land noch eine andere Sprache kennt, whlt er Spanien als nchstes Reiseziel, er betritt es in Vigo und durchwandert es bis nach Gibraltar, macht Bekanntschaften mit Bauern und Bettlern, den Armen und rmsten, musiziert fr Brot und Wein und schlft in Olivenhainen und einfachsten Bauernhfen. Es ist das Jahr 1935, und der kommende Brgerkrieg wirft seine Schatten voraus.
'They are memorials to times and countries whose best is probably past and gone . . . I was lucky to have known them when I did, before darkness began to fall from the air.' When Laurie Lee first left his country village aged nineteen, he discovered a delight in the outside world that remained undiminished throughout his writing life. This enchanting collection of his 'first loves and obsessions' brings together pieces including recollections of his Gloucestershire childhood celebrated in Cider With Rosie; reflections on life, love and death, such as a moving report from the tragic Welsh village of Aberfan; and evocative travel writings on Tuscany, Mexico and the West Indies, amongst others, before they were transformed by mass tourism. Together they capture a world that is lost forever. 'One of Britain's finest writers' Daily Mail 'There's a formidable, instant charm in the writing that genuinely makes it difficult to put the book down' New Statesman
Los ultimos dias de mi infancia fueron tambien los ultimos dias de la aldea. Yo pertenecia a aquella generacion que vio, por casualidad, el final de una vida milenaria. [...] Yo, mi familia, mi generacion, nacimos en un mundo de silencio; en un mundo de trabajo duro y necesaria paciencia, un mundo de espaldas dobladas hacia la tierra, cuidado manual de los cultivos, dependencia de la meteorologia y de la cosecha; un mundo en que las aldeas eran naves en paisajes vacios y las distancias entre ellas largas; un mundo de caminos marcados por cascos y ruedas de carretas, no hollados por la gasolina y el petroleo, apenas transitados por las personas y casi nunca por placer, por los que lo que mas rapido se movia eran los caballos. Laurie Lee revive en esta novela, una de las mas queridas y leidas por sus compatriotas, su infancia en una aldea de la campina inglesa. Pese a nacer en 1914, un mes antes del comienzo de la Primera Guerra Mundial, sus recuerdos son amables y llenos de carino hacia un mundo que iba a desaparecer.