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Richard Hughes, Author, Father by Penelope Hughes




The author of A High Wind in Jamaica, The Fox in the Attic, The Wooden Shepherdess and In Hazard, is strikingly portrayed in this perceptive memoir by his daughter. The life of the imagination is exposed, from Hughes’s story-telling to his children, to the creative surges leading to his greatest fiction. Among his friends were some of the foremost figures of the day – Dylan Thomas, Clough Williams Ellis, Maxwell Fry, Arthur Koestler, Patrick Leigh Fermor and Gilbert Murray.

Hughes was at Oxford with Graves, Huxley, Blunden ad T.E. Lawrence. But paramount were his own deep imaginings, his sense of adventuring through life, even in long periods when writing came hard. Carefree, productive days in pre-war Wales with his family, firewatching in Bath during the war, the stultifying days of officialdom in the Civil Service, the freedom in retirement to journey with his daughter and new friends on a great boat voyage around the Mediterranean and the final self-imposed solitude of old age; all these are encapsulated. Above all, the book builds up a many-faceted portrait; a myriad of personal details and striking episodes drawn from family life reveal the man as well as the writer.

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