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Gone To Earth

Gone To Earth by Mary Webb
By: (1881-1927)

“Gone to Earth” is the cry of fox hunters as the fox takes to its den and they lose the chase. Here, Mary Webb tells the story of Hazel Woodus whose understanding of her half tame fox cub contrasts with her misunderstanding of humanity. She is pursued by two very different men, a Gentleman Farmer and the local Minister. Mary Webb’s writing is sometimes compared to that of Thomas Hardy, her descriptions of nature are vivid and her view of love and life is touched with tragedy. She wrote this book in 1917 and it is set in the borderlands of rural Shropshire.

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This eBook was produced by Suzanne L. Shell, Charles Franks and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team


by Mary Webb


[Dedication] To him whose presence is home.

Chapter 1

Small feckless clouds were hurried across the vast untroubled sky shepherdless, futile, imponderable and were torn to fragments on the fangs of the mountains, so ending their ephemeral adventures with nothing of their fugitive existence left but a few tears.

It was cold in the Callow a spinney of silver birches and larches that topped a round hill. A purple mist hinted of buds in the tree tops, and a fainter purple haunted the vistas between the silver and brown boles.

Only the crudeness of youth was here as yet, and not its triumph only the sharp calyx point, the pricking tip of the bud, like spears, and not the paten of the leaf, the chalice of the flower.

For as yet spring had no flight, no song, but went like a half fledged bird, hopping tentatively through the undergrowth. The bright springing mercury that carpeted the open spaces had only just hung out its pale flowers, and honeysuckle leaves were still tongues of green fire... Continue reading book >>

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