Planet Online

Andrew Green reviews
A William Condry Reader
edited by Jim Perrin

A William Condry Reader

Gomer, £14.00

As quickly as the earth’s environment is degraded and the number of its species declines, so the flow of new books of ‘nature writing’ increases. Some regard ours as a golden age of such literature. The emergence in the UK of writers like Mark Cocker, Robert Macfarlane and Helen Macdonald might have consigned an older generation of writers to oblivion, but in fact many of them have been careful to preserve and re-present the achievements of their forebears. Macfarlane has championed the Cairngorm writer Nan Shepherd, and Cocker has kept in print the works of J.A. Baker, obsessive student of the peregrine.

Now Jim Perrin pays a similar tribute of re-publication to the writings of his old friend Bill Condry. Condry, an English Midlander, came to live in Wales in the 1940s and by the time of his death in 1998 was acknowledged as one of our best writer-naturalists. A William Condry reader reprints a wide selection of his published work, from his books and his pieces for The Guardian’s ‘Country Diary’, to which he contributed for over forty years (Perrin has inherited his position in the same column).

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