Copsford by Walter J.C. Murray
Hardcover – Tartarus Press – Jan 2019 – 203 pages
In 1920 a young man, Walter Murray, spent a year in a derelict cottage, Copsford, working in lonely countryside among the wild animals and birds, with only a dog, Floss, for companionship. From the beginning, Murray has to fight not only the rats that infest his inhospitable house, and the elements outside, but also a loneliness that he finds soul-shatteringly oppressive.
But Murray comes to delight in his simple life, despite its deprivations. Above all, he appreciates the wildlife he experiences in meadow and woodland, the animals and insects, birds and butterflies. And he comes to a deeper understanding of plants and trees, the sun, wind, rain, frost and snow.
Copsford is an under-appreciated classic of the English countryside, delighting not only in flora and fauna, but in scent, colour, sound and movement. In beautiful and sensitive prose Murray expresses a vivid depth of feeling for nature that makes Copsford a tour de force of nature mysticism.
This new edition also contains Murray’s essay, ‘Voices of Trees’.