This delightful children's tale appeared in 1968, and was the last children's story by H E Bates (best-known for the Pop Larkin books, particularly 'The Darling Buds of May', so successfully televised from 1991-1993). It gives a fascinating glimpse into the insect world of summer, dramatised in much the same way as 'Watership Down' did for the rabbit kingdom. The illustrations are by Peggy Chapman, and are correct in every detail, enhancing the story brilliantly.
Hebert Ernest Bates (1905-1974) was an English author from Northamptonshire. During World War II he was commissioned into the RAF solely to write short stories, the Air Ministry realised that the populace was less concerned with facts and figures about the war than it was with reading about those who were fighting it. The tales were originally published in the News Chronicle under the pseudonym of “Flying Officer X”, and later published in book form as "The Greatest People in the World and Other Stories" and "How Sleep the Brave and Other Stories". His first financial success was "Fair Stood the Wind for France". After the war he and his family moved to Little Chart in Kent (inspiration for "The Darling Buds of May"), where he and his wife spent the rest of their lives.
The book is in very good condition, in illustrated board covers with matching unclipped dustwrapper showing only minimal signs of wear at the top edge. Inside, the binding is firm, all pages are clean and bright, and the only sign of age is a slight splaying at the top of the long edge of the textblock. An excellent copy.