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GEORGE EWART EVANS (1909–1988), in a series of books like Ask the Fellows Who
Cut the Hay, The Horse in the Furrow and Where Beards Wag All, and ALAN JOBSON
(1889-1990), in an even greater number of books, including Under a Suffolk Sky and
Suffolk Calendar, have written extensively about the county. Ewart Evans lived in the
cottage next to the Old School House at BLAXHALL where there is a memorial to him, and
also at 111 The High Street NEEDHAM MARKET, and his books are both fascinating and
important contributions to Suffolk rural history.
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Though more journalistic in style, so, for that matter, are the books of Alan Jobson. He lived
at FELIXSTOWE, and earned the name of ‘Mr Suffolk’.
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Two modern classics are Suffolk Scene by JULIAN TENNYSON (1915-1945), who was
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killed in Burma during the last war, and Akenfield by RONALD BLYTHE. Tennyson was
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the great-grandson of the poet and lived at the Ancient House, PEASENHALL.
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Blythe’s Akenfield is based upon the village of CHARSFIELD, and is full of real

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conversations with Suffolk country people: the wheelwright, the shepherd, the schoolteacher, b
factory farmer and bell ringer.
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‘I shall never cease to thank my mother that she arranged to have me born as close to the
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river as she possibly could,’ wrote W G ARNOTT (1901-1991), explaining the origins of e
his lifelong love of Suffolk rivers. His trilogy of the three main rivers of Suffolk describes the

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story of the waterways and how much Suffolk owed to fishing, shipbuilding and sheep.
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Writing about the Deben in Suffolk Estuary he describes it as ‘the river of Edward
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FitzGerald where he watched the crops along the banks as they grew green, yellow and s
russet and were finally carried away on the red and blue wagon with the sorrel horse.’ Alde
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Estuary and Orwell Estuary complete the trilogy. p
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LEE CHADWICK (1909-2003) owned a small part of the vanishing heathlands of Suffolk, f
adjoining the low house on LEISTON COMMON which she and her husband, wildlife

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illustrator Paxton Chadwick, built. Her concern for the environment and her love of wildlife
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led her to write In Search of Heathland, illustrated by her friend, Suffolk artist Evangeline
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Dickson. Lee Chadwick writes ‘how one person who has become addicted to life on a Suffolk
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coastal heath, set out to explore some different types of British lowland heaths and … to
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glean something of the factors affecting its survival’. Her particular observations of the
plants, animals, insects and birds add charm to a serious detailed study. You can walk along
the bridleway past her house and the little shed with the notice ‘Paxton Chadwick’s Studio’
and see the small piece of heathland next door she made her own. Then continue on the
paths she often walked down to the seashore.
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Our link with the landscape in which we live, and the effect it has on us is described in
RICHARD MABEY’s Nature Cure. In the first year of recovery after illness he moved to
the Waveney Valley, that borderland between Suffolk and Norfolk, living south of the river,
near REYDON. The surroundings of river, fens and woodlands, with their birds, animals and
wild plants slowly seeped into his mind and psyche. ‘What healed me … was a sense of being
taken not out of myself but back in, of nature entering me, firing up the wild bits of my
imagination.’
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