Books Received | Published:

A Classic of English Farming

Nature volume 159, page 588 (03 May 1947) | Download Citation



IN 1872 there appeared in The Times a long and remarkable letter describing the life of a Wiltshire farm labourer. It was so different from the current ideas on the subject that it was drastically criticized by the Liverpool Mercury : “A Mr. Richard Jefferies, dating from Coate Farm, Swindon, has managed somehow or other to get two columns and a quarter of the Times to air his notions in, and very funny notions they seem to be-there is no doubt that he has moved about amongst hundreds of labourers ; but that he has ever adequately seen them in the sense of understanding and knowing them we should be very slow to believe”. But Jefferies was not crushed, and seven years later, in 1879, he wrote a series of articles on country life which were published in book form in 1880 under the title “Hodge and his Masters”. For some reason or other the book was not re-issued until 1937. Messrs. Faber and Faber have now re-published it with an introduction by Mr. Henry Williamson, who has wisely reprinted the original Times letter and the Liverpool Mercury's criticism thereon.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

About this article

Publication history




  1. Search for E. JOHN RUSSELL in:


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing