The Darling Buds of May


After an enchanting April read (and 'watch' -thank you to all who recommended the film, it was lovely) I have chosen another month appropriate book for May. I'm familiar with the story of course having watched the tv adaptation in the early 90s. I'm looking forward to an undemanding and undisturbing read perfick for the month which heralds summer.
A Year in Books.

Vintage copy of The Darling Buds of May by H.E Bates

I was thrilled to bag a vintage set of Larkin books from Milly and Dottie's Emporium . Aren't they fab?



Darling Buds of May

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimmed;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to Time thou grow’st.
     So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
     So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
William Shakespeare, Sonnet 18

Comments

  1. I love the Darling buds books - and H E Bates descriptions of the FOOD make your mouth water!!

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  2. the choir I am in sing that sonnet, whenever I see it written I feel the need to burst into song!

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  3. I love that book and when I feel the garden is getting away from me, and everything is running a bit amok, I tell myself it is all just getting a wee bit "darling buds of may", and I feel SO much better!! Definitely worth a re-read, thanks for the suggestion. There are buds of may on my blog today as well, aren't they beautiful at the moment? x

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  4. I love the Darling Buds; the books and the 1990s TV series. I'm sure the Larkins were responsible for us having our 5th child; they were such a lovely, happy, large family and that's exactly what I wanted. Unfortunately we live in the centre of town, not in the countryside (although we are in Kent) but I can dream of a lifestyle like theirs.

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  5. I read them years ago and chortled my way through them. I find it interesting that their lifestyle would have been so alternative in the fifties when the books were written and actually is quite usual in many ways now.

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  6. Hi, just found your blog via 'Driftwood', it is lovely, your photographs are beautiful, the light is amazing! I love the Darling Buds and have read them all, but not in such a lovely format.

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  7. You are lucky. What a wonderful buy. I have all the books in paperback from my teens. Be warned - once you start reading them you won't be able to stop until you have read them all. Enjoy..

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  8. I love these books and they are such a nostalgic read. Back to a slower time when life was simple. I think we all yearn for that and there is a definite return to it right now.

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  9. This is such a coincidence - they are showing the series again on the Drama channel so I looked for my copy to re-read then I looked up Darling buds and found the Shakespeare quote - luckily I read your post before I did the self same one

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  10. That sonnet always takes my breath away, it's so beautiful. I love the HE Bates covers, they're wonderful. I hope you enjoy reading the books.

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  11. I loved those books when I read them eons ago. You are so lucky to have scored such a lovely set. I find a book's visual beauty really enhances my enjoyment. (One of the many reasons I could never get into e-readers.) And I didn't even know it had been televised. Must see if I can find it anywhere.

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    1. Oh do look out for it Kari, it's lovely and stars Catherine Zeta Jones before she was proper famous.

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  12. What a beautiful post. Those books are perennial favourites of mine, and your vintage copies are lovely.
    I remember watching the TV series with my mum back when I was a sixth former. Happy memories!
    Enjoy your May reading.
    Sarah.

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  13. I too, have those three books... love the artwork!

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  14. A girlfriend has lent me the Darling Bids DVD's as I haven't seen them before. Enjoying them very much, in fact it's perfec! Enjoy your read.

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  15. I read the whole series whilst bed bound for a week in the early 1990s and all I can remember is all that food!

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  16. Love these books, Sue, and re-read them every now and then. The sonnet too is very timely. Hope your Bank Holiday was as sunny as ours here in Norfolk - I can't believe this is about the third good BH we have had - sort of 'not quite British' if you get my drift!

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  17. Fabulous choice, -summer will really feel round the corner!

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  18. I grew up with those editions of The Darling Buds...loved them. I got all nostalgic just looking at the covers!

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  19. What a lovely set of books, Sue. Have you read his autobiographies? Ages since I read them - think there were three? - but also a lovely read.

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  20. I'm also a fan of H.E. Bates...even have a yellow Country Life mug from the china that featured Penguin book cover designs.

    Lucky you to now have those vintage books.

    Happy Spring and thanks for the Shakespeare, too. xo

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  21. What a treat. I love the theme. Have you got books lined up for the rest of the year?

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    1. No.Suggestions welcome though!

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    2. I could only think of 'June' annual for next month. I'm sure others will do better.

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    3. John Mortimer and Summer's Lease? Remember enjoying it when it came out.

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    4. And didn't The Go-Between start in July?

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  22. Hi Sue - I tried to comment on your lamb and chickpea etc post from January but couldn't. Anyway, I just wanted to say how VERY good it is. We made it your way last month (and loved it) and last night we mashed the chickpeas and mixed them with the minced lamb and spices to make patties which, once fried, we stuffed into the pittas with the hummus and yogurt. A-mazing. And leftover patties are good cold in the same way, as a sandwich for lunch!

    So, thank you! :-)

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    1. Oh wow, lamb falafels, fantastic idea, thanks Gillian.

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  23. Pati from London9:52 pm BST

    Am not familiar with those books (not popular in Spain, I guess) but they look vintage pretty! ;-)
    That sonnet of Shakespeare, however, is definitely one of my favourites of his.
    Thanks for the link to that online vintage shop, they have lovely things...
    Have a great weekend! Pati x

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  24. I have those editions of The Darling Buds of May stories (as well as many other books by H. E. Bates), though the dust jacket designs of the two other books in the Larkins series - 'Oh! To be in England' and 'A Little of What You Fancy' are not nearly so colourful - though perhaps it's because the first three books were issued by a book club.. These editions regularly turn up on eBay so are not hard to get hold of.

    You can now visit and stay at the actual farm (Buss Farm) where the TV series was filmed.

    http://www.darlingbudsfarm.co.uk/

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