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The Poacher H.E. Bates

The Poacher

H.E. Bates

Published December 31st 1988
ISBN : 9781854870407
Paperback
224 pages
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 About the Book 

The Poacher is a splendid novel, the fifth from the pen of H.E. Bates, which relates the life of Luke Bishop from about 1880, when he is about 20 years old, to some time after the end of World War I. There are echoes of Bates’s own family history inMoreThe Poacher is a splendid novel, the fifth from the pen of H.E. Bates, which relates the life of Luke Bishop from about 1880, when he is about 20 years old, to some time after the end of World War I. There are echoes of Bates’s own family history in this novel. Part 1 is ‘Youth’, Part 2 ‘Murder’, Part 3 ‘Land’, and the fourth and final Part is ‘The New Century’. The theme of the novel is the imprisonment of the body and spirit by factories, mechanical power, and the suffocating blanket of middle-class respectability. One expert on the work of Bates, Baldwin, praised the novel for the vigour of its writing, but criticized Bates for unbalanced treatment of his themes and for not more effectively integrating the social message into Lukes story. He commented: The social changes Luke neither wants nor understands need to be dramatically presented, not simply pointed to like distant features of the landscape. By concentrating on Lukes experiences and by making him an inarticulate and detached figure, the social aspect of the novel is weakened. However, the book received some excellent reviews and Baldwin admitted that in spite of its flaws, The Poacher was one of the outstanding novels in the rural tradition. Published Jan 1935.