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Coles Books News – Edition 41 – 8th October 2022

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“Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”

This weekend the Coles Books Pop-Up Bookshop is at the Buckingham History Festival (the shop in Bicester is open as usual) – this three day event brings together a wonderful bunch of historians and writers, all passionate about their subject, all keen to share what they know with the equally enthusiastic curious amongst us. Yesterday evening’s ‘in conversation’ between author and editor Simon Heffer and Michael Gove MP delved into the life of Henry ‘Chips’ Channon, often described as the greatest diarist of the 20th century, covered in three volumes of his extraordinary diaries – we’ll have Coles Signed Editions available in next week’s newsletter. There’s a wide range of speakers today and tomorrow and we’re looking forward to some fine sunshine over the campus grounds of the University of Buckingham – full details of the talks are shown below.

To Autumn by John Keats

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
 For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
 Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

The full newsletter with links to books can be found HERE

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