Between 1927 and 1940 R.M. Lockley and his wife lived and farmed on Skokholm, an otherwise uninhabited island off the coast of Pembrokeshire. These letters were written in the first year of the war and the Lockleys’ last on the island, which was commandeered by the military for the duration of the conflict. They are addressed to Lockley’s friend and brother-in-law John Buxton who had been captured by the enemy in Norway. In them Lockley describes the natural history, the birds particularly, of Skokholm, drawing on years of observation and research. His anxieties about the future of Europe, his sorrow at having to leave Skokholm, and his keen attentiveness to the island’s moods and seasons combine to provide a deeply moving letter of farewell to a beloved home.
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Published by Little Toller Books
21 October 2010