Rudyard Kipling lived in Sussex for the greater part of his life - briefly in Rottingdean and for more than thirty years at Bateman's in Burwash - and this collection of his poetry and prose is saturated with a profound love of what he called 'the most marvellous of all foreign countries that I have ever been in'. Including practically all his Sussex verse, several short stories, excerpts from his autobiography and a sprinling of his amusing and idiosyncratic letters, this is the most comprehensive anthology of its kind for many years. We begin with Kipling already a world-famous author. At the Elms he wrote his poem 'Sussex', an anthem to his newly discovered world of 'little, lost Down churches' and 'the dim, blue goodness of the Weald'. The following section covers the joys and sufferings of his life as a pioneer motorist, the short story 'They' taking us on just the sort of cross-county journey he often made himself - even to the broken-down car. But it is the Bateman's period which dominates.
Here he created the writer's haven we can still visit today - immersing himself in the life of Sussex, telling its history through the children's stories of "Puck of Pook's Hill" and fashioning a potent literary myth from his study of the Sussex people and their colourful past.
David Arscott is the most prolific contemporary author of books on Sussex themes, with some 30 titles to his name. His published fiction includes the novel Cultic Cyphers from Celtic Cyprus (7,5) and the short story collection Maracas in Caracas.