Author(s): Laurie Lee
'The stooping figure of my mother, waist-deep in the grass and caught there like a piece of sheep's wool, was the last I saw of my country home as I left it to discover the world' Abandoning the Cotswolds village that raised him, the young Laurie Lee walks to London. There he makes a living labouring and playing the violin. But, deciding to travel further a field and knowing only the Spanish phrase for 'Will you please give me a glass of water?', he heads for Spain. With just a blanket to sleep under and his trusty violin, he spends a year crossing Spain, from Vigo in the north to the southern coast. Only the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War puts an end to his extraordinary peregrinations...
A beautiful piece of writing Observer The vivid sensitive, irresistibly readable story of what happened after he left home Daily Mail A poet's book Sunday Times He writes like an angel and conveys the pride and vitality of the humblest Spanish life with unfailing sharpness, zest and humour Sunday Times There's a formidable, instant charm in the writing that genuinely makes it difficult to put the book down New Statesman
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.