Born May 16, 1905 in Rushden, Northamptonshire,Herbert Ernest BatesHe was an English novelist and short story writer of great reputation and popularity.
Batesattended elementary school in Kettering; He qualified for college but did not attend because his family couldn’t afford it. In 1921, at age 16, he joined the Northampton Chronicle as a reporter, but left two months later because he did not like the job. He was then employed in a factory in Rushden, a job he held for two years. He began to write his first novel,The two sister’sat the time, and he was fired when his employer discovered that he was writing it while on his work schedule.Bateshe continued working on the novel and, after multiple rejections, it was published in 1926. In 1928 a collection of short stories was launched,Day’s End and other stories. These early short stories and novels were praised, but he became well known as a writer on the field and the life of the agricultural laborer withThe sneaky(1935);A women’s house(1936);My Uncle Silas(1940) andThe beauty of the dead and other stories(1941). He had acquired his knowledge and appreciation for English rural life from his father and grandfather while growing up in the Midlands.
World War II made famousBates. Commissioned as a writer for the Royal Air Force in 1941, as “Flying Officer X” he gained great popularity withThe Greatest People in the World(1942) andHow Sleep the Brave(1943), collections of stories that conveyed the sensation of flying in times of war. Three novels published under his own name:Fair Stood the Wind for France(1944), about a British bomber crew forced to descend on occupied France, and two set in Burma (Myanmar) during the Japanese invasion,The Purple Plain(1946) andThe Jacaranda Tree(1948) earned Bates a new reputation as a novelist.
In his postwar novels and stories,Batesreached the peak of his career. SinceThe Nature of Love(1954) toA Moment in Time(1964) andThe Triple Echo(1970), he consistently developed in subtlety, depth, and strength as a novelist, and inThe Darling Buds of May(1958) created a lifelike and lovable farm familyLarkins.Colonel Julian(1955) demonstrates its scope in the short story, and the autobiographicalThe Vanished World(1969) andThe Blossoming World(1971) show that he retained his power to capture the mood of the present moment.