Friday, January 17, 2020


Richard Jefferies (1848-1887) was an authority on agriculture and rural life. Best known for his nature writing, he was also an essayist, novelist and mystic. The Richard Jefferies Society (Registered Charity No 1042838) was founded in 1950 to promote appreciation and study of his writing. 

The main event is a spring lecture held in Liddington Village Hall in May along with the Annual General Meeting.  PLEASE NOTE THAT MEETINGS HAVE BEEN CANCELLED IN RESPONSE TO THE COVID-19 EPIDEMIC. 

To bring some consolation in these troubled times, you can listen to favourite pieces of nature writing by Jefferies: the first from his essay 'Wild Flowers'; the second from the opening passage of The Story of My Heart, the third: ' A Summer Day in Savernake Forest'. They are read here by Sir Simon Russell Beale as part of an online initiative by the Marlborough Literary Festival. There is one more reading to follow in June from Amaryllis at the Fair. Go to: https://www.marlboroughlitfest.org/litfest-speaking/

Richard Jefferies Society publications include an annual Journal, spring and autumn newsletters, and an annual report along with leaflets and books by and about the author.  This includes the publication of Volume I of A Peculiarly English Genius: a biography of Richard Jefferies by Andrew Rossabi (a planned three-volume set)Volume I is an in-depth study of Jefferies' early years.  Volume II, covering the years of struggle, will be published on 8 July 2020. Volume III completes the years of maturity 1876-1887.

Volume II will be on sale for £60 but a pre-publication offer of £40 (plus postage) is available now by contacting the Honorary Secretary.  




Short-list announced for best nature writing literary award


The Richard Jefferies Society and the White Horse Book Shop Literary Prize is awarded annually to the author of the publication considered by the judging panel to be the most outstanding nature writing published in a given calendar year. The winning work must reflect the heritage and spirit of Richard Jefferies’ countryside books.

The final short-list for 2019 publications was announced today as:
The Hidden World of the Fox by  Adele Brand,  (William Collins).
Incredible Journeys by David Barrie, (Hodder and Stoughton).
The Nature of Spring by Jim Crumley, (Saraband).
On the Marsh by Simon Barnes, (Simon and Schuster).
Rebirding by Benedict MacDonald (Pelagic Publishing).
Working with Nature by Jeremy Purseglove (Profile Books).

The award was first introduced in 2015. Last year attracted an unprecedented number of nominations reflecting the increasing number of books dedicated to the natural world.
Previous winners are: Gods of the Morning by John Lister-Kaye (2015), The Wood for the Trees by Richard Fortey (2016) The Seabird's Cry by Adam Nicolson (2017) and Wilding by Isabella Tree (2018).

The judging panel will meet (remotely) on 3 June 2020 to agree the overall winner of the £1000 prize. There might be a slight slip in the announcement date due to the difficulties thrown-up by not being able to meet bodily.