In the Sea Library

“The Time by the Sea: Aldeburgh 1955–1958” is written by Ronald Blythe and published in paperback by Faber & Faber in 2014

The Time by the Sea is about Ronald Blythe’s life in Aldeburgh during the 1950s. He had originally come to the Suffolk coast as an aspiring young writer, but found himself drawn into Benjamin Britten’s circle and began working for the Aldeburgh Festival. Although befriended by Imogen Holst and by E M Forster, part of him remained essentially solitary, alone in the landscape while surrounded by a stormy cultural sea. But this memoir gathers up many early experiences, sights and sounds: with Britten he explored ancient churches; with the botanist Denis Garrett he took delight in the marvellous shingle beaches and marshland plants; he worked alongside the celebrated photo-journalist Kurt Hutton. His muse was Christine Nash, wife of the artist John Nash.

In a long and distinguished career Ronald Blythe’s work includes Akenfield, his classic study of English village life, poetry, fiction, essays, short stories, history and literary criticism. His work has been filmed, widely translated, awarded literary prizes and his ‘voice’ recognised as one of special originality. Blythe is President of the John Clare Society and has always taken part in the cultural life of his native countryside. He lives in the Stour Valley in the farmhouse which was once the home of his friend John Nash.”

Thank you, Jean Wilson, for suggesting me this book for the Sea Library.

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