Bates, H E - The Darling Buds of May - ( Item 120458 )
Published in London by Folio Society. 2011. First Thus. Fine Hardback. No inscriptions or bookplates. Fine slipcase. Introduced by Ian Jack. Illustrated by Alice Tait. Bound in cloth. Printed with a design by Alice Tait. Set in Bembo. Frontispiece. 6 colour illustrations. Book size: 9 × 5¾, 160 pages. Gorging on ice cream, wondering whether to cook two roast geese or three, mixing up cocktails whose strength leaves casual visitors prostrate – the Larkins are gargantuan in their appetites. Magnificently vulgar, their house contains a galleon-shaped cocktail cabinet and gold taps in the bathroom (over which local ladies exclaim in horror). Yet the entire Larkin family is also blessed with an acute appreciation for nature and beauty, revelling in hearing the nightingale, wandering through the bluebell wood and enjoying the splendid bounty of their surroundings. The Larkins infect everyone around them with their own Homeric lust for life; from prim Miss Pilchester who longs for Pop's velvety kisses, to the anaemic tax officer who falls in love with the exquisitely seductive Mariette. 'The Larkins' secret,' H. E. Bates wrote, 'is in fact that they live as many of us would like to live if only we had the guts and nerve to flout the conventions.'
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