Ronald Blythe at 100

Patrick Barkham at The Guardian:

The greatest living writer on the English countryside will celebrate his 100th birthday this week at his Suffolk farmhouse, surrounded by the friends he calls his “dear ones”. Ronald Blythe is best known for Akenfield, his moving and intimate portrait of a Suffolk village through the lives of its residents, which became an instant classic when published in 1969. But Blythe, who has spent all his 10 decades living within 50 miles of where he was born, has also devoted millions more words – in history, fiction, and luminous essays and columns – to describe with poetry and precision not simply rural folk but the very essence of existence.

His writing is honoured in a new volume, Next to Nature, a highlights package of nearly a quarter-century of weekly columns for the Church Times, written between 1993 and 2017. Fellow writers agree that Blythe’s work has improved with age.

more here.