'Teetotal!' Ma said. 'It's a libel. He'll never live it down. He'll never be able to hold his head up again. Whatever will people think? What's he going to say when anybody asks him to have one?'
' 'No,' ' said Dr Conner.
'You'll have to strap him down,' Ma said. 'You'll have to put the handcuffs on.'
And so after a mild heart-attack - caused by rather too much of what you fancy - Pop Larkin finds himself off the booze, off the good food and off the good life generally, much to his own and everyone's else's horror and upset.
And while Ma tries to find ways around 'doctor's orders', young Primrose is finding her own way round a rather flustered - not to say flushed - Mr Candy . . .
H. E. Bates was born in 1905 in Northamptonshire. He worked as a journalist and clerk on a local newspaper before publishing his first book, The Two Sisters, when he was twenty. In the next fifteen years he acquired a distinguished reputation for his stories about English country life. During the Second World War he was a Squadron Leader in the R.A.F. The Darling Buds of May (1958), the first of the popular Larkin family novels, was followed by A Breath of French Air (1959), When the Green Woods Laugh (1960), Oh! To Be in England (1963) and A Little of What You Fancy (1970). His works have been translated into sixteen languages. H. E. Bates was awarded the C.B.E. in 1973 and died in January 1974.