FISHING, WILDFOWLING & COUNTRYSIDE
enjoyed a dual career. First, as a much-loved writer on the countryside
and its wildlife. Second, using his real name, Denys Watkins-Pitchford,
as a hardworking illustrator. He illustrated most of his own books, but
also accepted commissions for the works of other authors.
BB's first published title was The Sportsman's Bedside Book (1937) in which he describes forays in search of 'monstrous-sized carp', a passion which inspired some of his later and most acclaimed work, notably Confessions of a Carp Fisher (1950) and A Carp Water: Wood Pool (1958).
His second book, a work of fiction, Wild Lone: The Life of a Pytchley Fox
(1938) was written whilst still a master at Rugby School. Its keen and sympathetic observation without sentimentality makes this book a classic of wildlife. The character of 'Rufus', the little red fox, bears comparison with Henry Williamson's immortal tale, Tarka the Otter
BB's passion for wildfowling and his love of the lonely windswept marshes and deserted longshore were to find expression in Manka: The Sky Gypsy
(1939). An albino goose, spotted on one of his shooting expeditions, became the inspiration for one of BB's best-known and enduring works.
1950 saw the publication of the first of two de-luxe books on wildfowling, Tides Ending and its 1953 sequel, Dark Estuary, both classics in their own field. In these two books BB captured the magic of the tideways, the shapes and colours of the clouds, the effects of light on the marshes and the sea and the patterns of flighting geese.
First editions of these books include sumptuous reproductions from Denys Watkins-Pitchford's original paintings. They portray the splendour of dawn and sunset over silver firths; mornings of blizzard and mist on the high uplands where geese come to feed. They reflect every mood of our countryside; with a nostalgic quality of remembered things.
After Dark Estuary appeared in 1953, BB's adult titles became less frequent, for he chose to concentrate more on his children's books. However, in 1959, The Autumn Road to the Isles, was published, the first of several travel books in which BB roamed the country in a caravan and camped beside carp pools, in woods and on moors, his favourite places.
The 'seventies and 'eighties saw publication of some of his most popular adult titles including Ramblings of a Sportsman Naturalist (1979) The Naturalist's Bedside Book (1980) Quiet Fields (1981) and Indian Summer (1984).
The Best ofBB was published to mark his 85th birthday. A fitting tribute to his genius.
WILDFOWLING, FISHING & COUNTRY BOOKS
The Sportsman's Bedside Book (1937)
Wild Lone (1938)
Manka, The Sky Gypsy (1939)
The Countryman's Bedside Book (1943)
The Idle Countryman (1943)
The Fisherman's Bedside Book (1945)
The Wayfaring Tree (1945)
The Shooting Man's Bedside Book (1948)
Be Quiet and Go A-Angling (1949)
Confessions of a Carp Fisher (1950)
Letters from Compton Deverell (1950)
Tides Ending (1950)
Dark Estuary (1953)
A Carp Water (Wood Pool) (1958)
The White Road Westward (1961)
The September Road to Caithness (1962)
Pegasus Book of the Countryside (1964)
The Summer Road to Wales (1964)
A Summer on the Nene (1967)
Recollections of a Longshore Gunner (1976)
A Child Alone: The Memoirs of BB (1978)
Ramblings of a Sportsman Naturalist (1979)
The Naturalist's Bedside Book (1980)
The Quiet Fields (1981)
Indian Summer (1984)
The Best of BB (1985)
Fisherman's Folly (1987)
BB's Children's Books
Centenary Celebrations 2005
'BB' Home Page
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The page last updated November 18th 2004 at 08:00 hrs