A hundred was 'a subdivision of a county or shire, having its own court' (OED); the Chiltern Hundreds were the three subdivisions of South Bucks - from west to east, Desborough, Burnham and Stoke. This last, named after Stoke Poges, is today shared with Berkshire and dominated by the urban sprawl of Slough. Here for many years Keith Bosley has lived and enjoyed its contrasts - manor and supermarket, Norman church and cooling-tower, the landscape of the young Milton, of Gray and Herschel. "A Chiltern Hundred" celebrates it with a hundred poems of many kinds - historical, topographical, satirical, lyrical. The book is also a treasury of verse forms: there are Classical odes, sestina and terza rima, ballade and villanelle, englyn and cywydd, renga and pantun, punctuated by a prize-winning sequence of sonnets that explore more personal themes.
Keith Bosley was born in the Hundred of Desborough in 1937 and read French at Reading, Paris and Caen. His last collection of poems, 'Stations', was published by Anvil in 1979. Over a dozen works of translation include 'Finnish Folk Poetry: Epic' (1977), 'Mallarme: The Poems' (1977), 'From the Theorems of Master Jean de La Ceppede' (1983). He has completed a verse translation of the 'Kalevala' for the OUP World's Classics.