Laurie Lee came to live in Slad, near Stroud, at the age of three. He went to the village school and later to Stroud Central School before leaving Gloucestershire for Europe in 1935. He came back to Slad to live with his wife Cathy in the early 1960s and remained until his death in 1997. His memories of his childhood in Slad before the arrival of the motorcar are vividly recorded in his most famous work, the autobiographical Cider with Rosie.
Primarily a poet, Laurie Lee published four volumes of poetry including The Sun My Monument (1944), and A Bloom of Candles (1947) before writing Cider with Rosie. Although his poetry has received critical acclaim and remains his first love, it is his prose works which have brought him the recognition of a wider audience.
As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning, about his experiences in Spain before the Civil War, followed 10 years after Cider with Rosie, and his last published work, A Monument of War, considered by many to be his best book, completed the trilogy in 1991. Other works have included A Rose for Winter, about a trip he made to Andalusia 15 years after the Civil War, and numerous contributions to journals and magazines.
During the war he worked for the Ministry of Information and from 1950-51 was Caption-Writer-In-Chief and Curator of Eccentricities for the Festival of Britain. He was awarded the MBE in 1952. Laurie Lee died in 1997 aged 83.
You can hear some of his poetry on our Johnny Coppin Page
A wood once owned by the family of author and naturalist Laurie Lee opens later to the public on what would have been his 99th birthday. Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust (GWT) purchased the wood for £35,000 after an appeal earlier in the year.
It raised the money from almost 1,000 donations and said it was “overwhelmed” by the support it received. The three-hectare Trantershill Wood, in the Slad Valley, is abundant in native flora and fauna. Read More