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This edition of the classic work on the early English poacher was first published in 1901. Contents Include: The First Gun - The Old Punt, A Curious 'Turnpike' - Tree Shooting, A Fishing Expedition - Egg Time, A 'Gip' Trap - Woodland Twilight, Traitors on the Gibbet - Lurcher-Land 'The Park' - Oby, And His System, The Moucher's Calendar - Churchyard Pheasants: Before The Bench - Luke, The Rabbit-Contractor: The Brook Path - Farmer Willum's Place: Snipe-Shooting - Ferreting: A Rabbit-Hunter - A Winter Night: Old Tricks: Pheasant Stalking: Matchlock Versus Breechloader - Conclusion. Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. Home Farm Books are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.
But, however that may be, one day, as we came in unexpectedly from a voyage in the punt, something was discovered burning among the logs on the kitchen hearth; and, though a desperate rescue was attempted, nothing was left but the barrel of our precious gun and some crooked iron representing the remains of the lock. There are things that are never entirely forgotten, though the impression may become fainter as years go by. The sense of the cruel injustice of that act will never quite depart. But they could not burn the barrel, and we almost succeeded in fitting it to a stock of elder.
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(John) Richard Jefferies (1848-1887) is best known for his prolific and sensitive writing on natural history, rural life and agriculture in late Victorian England. However, a closer examination of his career reveals a many-sided author who was something of an enigma. To some people he is more familiar as the author of the children's classic Bevis or the strange futuristic fantasy After London , while he also has some reputation as a mystic worthy of serious study. Since his death his books have enjoyed intermittent spells of popularity, but today he is unknown to the greater part of the reading public. Jefferies, however, has been an inspiration to a number of more prominent writers and W.H. Hudson, Edward Thomas, Henry Williamson and John Fowles are among those who have acknowledged their debt to him. In my view his greatest achievement lies in his expression, aesthetically and spiritually, of the human encounter with the natural world - something that became almost an obsession for him in his last years.He was born at Coate in the north Wiltshire countryside - now on the outskirts of Swindon - where his family farmed a smallholding of about forty acres. His father was a thoughtful man with a passionate love of nature but was unsuccessful as a farmer, with the result that the later years of Jefferies' childhood were spent in a household increasingly threatened by poverty. There were also, it seems, other tensions in the family. Richard's mother, who had been brought up in London, never settled into a life in the country and the portrait of her as Mrs Iden - usually regarded as an accurate one - in his last novel, Amaryllis at the Fair , is anything but flattering. Remarks made in some of Jefferies' childhood letters to his aunt also strongly suggest an absence of mutual affection and understanding between mother and son. A combination of an unsettled home life and an early romantic desire for adventure led him at the age of sixteen to leave home with the intention of traversing Europe as far as Moscow. In this escapade he was accompanied by a cousin, but the journey was abandoned soon after they reached France. On their return to England they attempted to board a ship for the United States but this plan also came to nothing when they found themselves without sufficient money to pay for food.A self-absorbed and independent youth, Jefferies spent much of his time walking through the countryside around Coate and along the wide chalk expanses of the Marlborough Downs. He regularly visited Burderop woods and Liddington Hill near his home and on longer trips explored Savernake Forest and the stretch of the downs to the east, where the famous white horse is engraved in the hillside above Uffington. His favourite haunt was Liddington Hill, a height crowned with an ancient fort commanding superb views of the north Wiltshire plain and the downs. It was on the summit of Liddington at the age of about eighteen, as he relates in The Story of My Heart, that his unusual sensitivity to nature began to induce in him a powerful inner awakening - a desire for a larger existence or reality which he termed 'soul life'. Wherever he went in the countryside he found himself in awe of the beauty and tranquillity of the natural world; not only the trees, flowers and animals, but also the sun, the stars and the entire cosmos seemed to him to be filled with an inexpressible sense of magic and meaning.....
The Amateur Poacher.John Richard Jefferies.Richard Jefferies (1848-1887) was a nature writer, noted for his depiction of English rural life in essays, books of natural history, and novels. His childhood growing up on a rural farm in England had a great influence on his fiction writings. Jefferies spent most of his life battling T B and poverty. Jeffries was fascinated with what nature could be if left alone. His love for the English rural areas is strong in his writing. The Amateur Poacher is an excellent example of Jefferies's awareness of the value of nature and the people within it. The preface reads "The following pages are arranged somewhat in the order of time, beginning with the first gun, and attempts at shooting. Then come the fields, the first hills, and woods explored, often without a gun, or any thought of destruction: and next the poachers, and other odd characters observed at their work. Perhaps the idea of shooting with a matchlock, or wheel-lock, might, if put in practice, at least afford some little novelty." The table of contents includes The first gun, The old punt: a curious 'turnpike', Tree-shooting: a fishing expedition, Egg-time: a 'gip'-trap, Woodland twilight: traitors on the gibbet, Lurcher-land: 'the park', Oby, and his system: the moucher's calendar, Churchyard pheasants: before the bench, Luke, the rabbit-contractor: the brook path. Farmer Willum's place: snipe-shooting, Ferreting: a rabbit-hunter, and A winter night: old tricks: pheasant-stalking: matchlock versus breech-loader: conclusion.

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