The Worm Forgives the Plough
31.5” x 23.5” (80 x 60 cm) / Oil on gessoed panel / £7500
The scene is on the Oxfordshire plain, on the escarpment side of the nearby Chiltern Hills. The area is as plain a part of the plain as can be imagined. I have no idea why the aspect drew me to it. The title is taken from the classic John Stewart Collis book of the same name, published I believe, in 1973. A fine read, wonderfully enjoyable. It put me off hoeing, ricking, ploughing, digging and farming for life, for which relief much thanks. The manuscript of the book, I was delighted to find out, was originally rejected by twelve publishers. Finally, Jonathan Cape accepted it, but requested much revision. Collis waited a while, then returned the manuscript largely unchanged, thanking the publisher for their suggestions. Jonathan Cape replied saying they were ‘delighted with the improvements’. Attaboy, Jonathan.
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