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  • Published: 19 January 2021
  • ISBN: 9780241411698
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 112
  • RRP: $26.00

Down in the Valley

A Writer's Landscape




From the author of Cider With Rosie, this is a moving, lyrical portrait of the landscape of Laurie Lee's world

'Living in our valley was like broad beans in a pod, so snug and enclosed and protective.'

Laurie Lee walked out of his childhood village one summer morning to travel the world, but he was always drawn back to his beloved Slad Valley, eventually returning to make it his home.

In this never-before-published portrait of his Cotswold home, Laurie Lee guides us through its landscapes, and shares memories of his village youth - from his favourite pub, The Woolpack, to winter skating on the pond, the church through the seasons, local legends, learning the violin and playing jazz records in the privy on a wind-up gramophone.

Filled with wry humour and a love of place, Down in the Valley is a writer's tribute to the landscape that shaped him, and where he found peace.

  • Published: 19 January 2021
  • ISBN: 9780241411698
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 112
  • RRP: $26.00

About the author

Laurie Lee

Laurie Lee has written some of the best-loved travel books in the English language. Born in Stroud, Gloucestershire, in 1914, he was educated at Slad village school and Stroud Central School. At the age of nineteen he walked to London and then travelled on foot through Spain, where he was trapped by the outbreak of the Civil War. He later returned by crossing the Pyrenees, as he recounted in A Moment of War. In 1950 he married Catherine Polge and they had one daughter. 

Laurie Lee published four collections of poems: The Sun My Monument (1944), The Bloom of Candles (1947), My Many-Coated Man (1955) and Pocket Poems (1960). His other works include The Voyage of Magellan (1948), a verse play for radio; A Rose for Winter (1955), which records his travels in Andalusia; The Firstborn (1964); I Can't Stay Long (1975), a collection of his occasional writing; and Two Women (1983). He also wrote three bestselling volumes of autobiography: Cider with Rosie (1959), which has sold over six million copies worldwide, As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (1969) and A Moment of War (1991), which are also published by Penguin in a single volume entitled Red Sky at Sunrise (1992). He died in May 1997.

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Praise for Down in the Valley

Age is taking Lee's eyesight but polishing up the anecdotes and deepening his characteristic note of wistfulness for a lost age ... It is a fine thing to revisit this writer's landscape and hear his amiable voice in it again.

Michael Caines, Times Literary Supplement

Down in the Valley is truly evocative of time and place. A beautiful illustration of how, in some way, we are all indelibly influenced by the landscape of our childhood.

Raynor Winn, author of The Salt Path

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