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The Military Orchid and Other Novels

'Jocelyn Brooke's writing is imaginatively unique ...a great writer' - Elizabeth Bowen. Flowers and fireworks, botany and pyrotechny: these were the twin passions of a delicate, sensitive boy growing up before the Great War. Part memoir, part imaginative re-creation, these novels evoke a tranquil England where orchids grew wild and undiscovered and a young boy's dreams and disappointments were as simple and moving as a guinea box of fireworks. From the mellow Kentish villages of his boyhood, to the brusque masculinity of the army, by way of painful years at prep school and Oxford, Jocelyn Brooke beautifully captures the torment and the delight of being a constant outsider. Witty, subtle and deceptively simple these three novels were highly acclaimed for the way they captured the unfolding of a melancholy, often painfully sensitive male consciousness, evoking a quintessentially English life.
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About the Author

Writer and naturalist Jocelyn Brooke (1908-1966) was born and raised in Kent. He published his first book, Six Poems, in 1928 while still at Worcester College, Oxford. Having worked in London bookshops and publishing, he enlisted in the Royal Medical Army corps at the outbreak of War and was later decorated for his bravery. After the war he wrote full time in a variety of genres, culminating in the three novels - The Military Orchid, A Mine of Serpents and The Goose Cathedral - which drew closely on his own experiences. They were first published together in a single volume by Secker and Warburg in 1979, with an introduction by Anthony Powell.

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