The Time by the Sea: Aldeburgh, 1955-1958

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9780571290949: The Time by the Sea: Aldeburgh, 1955-1958

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. Published to coincide with the centenary of Britten's birth, this is a tale of music and painting, unforgettable words and fears. It describes the first steps of an East Anglian journey, an intimate appraisal of a vivid and memorable time.

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About the Author:

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.

Review:

This delightful memoir, by the author of Akenfield, is something special ... a small masterpiece ... beautifully written and full of memorable insights into an extraordinary place at a unique time. -- Richard Morrison The Times A scintillating memoir. -- DJ Taylor Independent Ronnie's minute observation of places, people and plants, his ear for scraps of dialogue and his feeling for poetry and painting make everything about those days immediate. Vintage photographic portraits and John Nash's drawings further enhance this book ... The Time by the Sea rings true. As with any real artist, the subject is always in charge, and Ronnie's response to Aldeburgh is one of a deep love of the place - and of humanity. -- Maggie Hambling Spectator Blythe, mostly known for Akenfield, his study of English village life, is the best possible voice to capture the charming but eccentric town of Aldeburgh ... Vignettes of Britten and his fellow festival artists are very appealing, and Blythe tells them brilliantly. The Lady

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Blythe, Dr. Ronald
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