Donkey Boy (A Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight, Book 2)

Donkey Boy (A Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight, Book 2)

Henry Williamson

Language: English

Pages: 338

ISBN: 0356018091

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Donkey Boy (1952) was the second entry in Henry Williamson's fifteen-volume A Chronicle of Ancient Sunlightspanning the years from the late Victorian period to the Second World War. It tells of Richard Maddison's first-born Phillip, nicknamed 'donkey boy' because his life was saved in infancy by being fed with ass's milk. The boy grows up in the Edwardian era, something of a misfit, at odds with his father.

'With extraordinary skill and precision [Williamson] rebuilds the scenery of the past... [he] seems to be engaged in a thriller whose instalments can be relied on to animate a whole section of social history.' Spectator

'Williamson's style is romantic, though rarely sentimental, and his sensuous response to nature is fresh and surprising.' Anthony Burgess, Ninety-Nine Novels: The Best in English since 1939

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sitting at his desk, entering the day’s orders in a book. “Well, Hetty,” said Eliza Pickering, “here you are at last! I can hardly believe it is really you.” She was a dark, small-headed woman, of Brythonic or ancient British type; she was dressed in black, with dark hair parted in the middle and drawn back plainly over her head. “I cannot tell you how nice it is, after all these years, to see you again. It’s just like old times, and with all the children about it makes me feel young again.”

What would he be able to do if Mr. Twine looked at him for the cane? He could not contemplate it—beyond the incipient thought was a flash, a disintegration, the end of the world. So Phillip kept his eyes downwards, sometimes upon his work of Sums, Geography, History, or Composition, but more often upon the small two-column print of a Pluck, a Union Jack, or a Boy’s Life. Under the open desk was a small ledge, where you were allowed to keep your things, such as pens, pencil box, cap, scarf, and

puzzled. “Are you happy?” said the old gentleman, looking at him keenly. “Yes, thank you, sir.” “Always?” “Yes, sir.” “Well, I am delighted to have met you. I congratulate you again on your description of the walk by the river. Thank you, Headmaster.” The old gentleman sat back, Phillip knew it was over, and he was all right. “Now, Phillip,” said Mr. Garstang, “you may return to the classroom. Give this note to Mr. Twine, with my compliments, and ask him to send the boys whose names are

with no further thoughts of his lecture. Which, as it turned out, was in accordance with the thoughts of other members of the Antiquarian and Archeological Society; for owing to the extreme density of the fog, only Mr. Mundy and Miss MacIntosh, who had but to walk a hundred yards or so, arrived at St. Simon’s Hall that night. The next evening Miss Thoroughgood called, asking to see Mr. Maddison on particular business, in private. Richard saw her in the front room, behind the door shut for

Aunty Bee. And the soldier will look after Jessie.” “Oh, Jessie has a soldier, has she? Have you seen him?” “Only a long way away, Aunty Bee. I didn’t see him kiss Jessie, Aunty Bee!” “You pet,” said Bee, laughing, and kissing him again. “Then can I come, Aunty Bee?” “I am afraid not, darling. But I will tell you all about it when I come back.” The coach came down the road, and there were smiling people on it, and a coachman in a big coat and shiny hat with a thing like a squashed black

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