Rural Hours

by Harriet Baker

£25.00

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    Non Fiction

    Hardback

    9780241540510

    Published by Allen Lane

    Published April 2024

    In Rural Hours, Harriet Baker tells the story of three very different women, each of whom moved to the countryside and was forever changed by it. We encounter them at quiet moments – pausing to look at an insect on the windowsill; jotting down a recipe; or digging for potatoes, dirt beneath their nails. Slowly, we start to see transformations unfold: Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Townsend Warner, and Rosamond Lehmann emerge before us as the passionate, visionary writers we know them to be.

    Following long periods of creative uncertainty and private disappointment, each of Baker’s subjects is invigorated by new landscapes, and the daily trials and small pleasures of making a home; slowly, they embark on new experiments in form, in feeling and in living that would resonate throughout the rest of their lives. In the country, each woman finds her path: to convalescence and recovery; to sexual and political awakening; and, above all, to personal freedom and creative flourishing. In graceful, fluid prose, Baker vividly recreates these overlooked episodes, revealing how ‘rural hours’ defined the lives of three pioneering writers.

    ‘A superb portrait of the complex imprint the countryside makes on the life of the mind … A treasure’ Doireann Ni Ghriofa

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