This weeks Book snap is a classic of nature fiction Mary Webb’s Gone to Earth. A novel loved by my daughter, who first read it in the most romantic of settings; sitting in the upstairs library of Shakespeare and Co in Paris. I bought her this first illustrated edition as a gift which I am now borrowing so I can read it. Webb was famous for her poetic evocations of the natural world.
The daughter of a Welsh gypsy and a crazy bee-keeper, Hazel Woodus is happiest living in her forest cottage in the remote Shropshire hills, at one with the winds and seasons, protector and friend of the wild animals she loves. But Hazel’s beauty and innocence prove irresistible to the men in her orbit. Both Jack Reddin, the local squire and Edward Marston, the gentle minister, offer her human — and carnal — love.
Hazel’s fate unfolds as simply and relentlessly as a Greek tragedy as a child of nature is drawn into a world of mortal passion in which she must eternally be a stranger.
Webb’s books about rural Shropshire are reputed to be the inspiration for Stella Gibbons’ famous parody Cold Comfort Farm.
I have currently gone to earth in northern NSW, will hopefully get some reading done. #BookSnapSunday is a weekly Instagram meme hosted here at Gum trees and Galaxies.com, if you would like to join in please feel free to leave a link to your post in the comments below. Happy reading.