THE SONG OF THE WREN. London: Michael Joseph, [1972]. Octavo, original terra cotta boards, spine panel stamped in gold. First edition. Gathers five short stories, one of them rather long. Three are in Bates' usual dark manner; two feature a comically eccentric character. The prolific Bates was primarily a writer of short stories and in this field he was highly regarded by David Garnett and Graham Greene, among others. His style has been traced to the influence of Conrad (and thus of Henry James) and Stephen Crane, but his subject matter is definitely British, concentrating on the lives and tragedies of rural workers, occasionally touching on the theme of madness. See Kunitz and Haycraft, Twentieth Century Authors, pp. 85-6. A fine copy in fine dust jacket. (#128185).

Price: $25.00

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"First published / ... / 1972" on copyright page.