Ronald Blythe Obituary, Death – The author Ronald Blythe, who passed away recently at the age of 100, was best known for his book “Akenfield,” which was published in 1969 and was a portrait of a remote Suffolk village over the course of the last century, shaped out of the personal stories of its inhabitants. The book received critical acclaim in Britain and the United States, and in 1974, it was adapted into a film by Peter Hall. Ronald Blythe was best known for his book “Akenfield,” which was published in
Blythe lived in Suffolk or in the surrounding area for the entirety of his life. Born in Acton, which is close to Lavenham, he spent the majority of his adult life in a modest farmhouse in the hamlet of Debach, which is close to Ipswich. After that, he moved to Wormingford, which is close to Colchester, and moved into a house that had been left to him by the painter John Nash.
Ronnie Blythe was a solitary man who was quiet yet friendly. He had a gift for companionship, and he had a lifelong curiosity with the lives of other people. “I suppose my view of human life is how brief and curious most people’s lives are,” he stated. “However, after you talk to them, you realize how resilient they are and how incredibly rich their lives are.”
When Blythe was out walking in the countryside, he came up with the concept for Akenfield (not the actual name of the village; the inspiration was Charsfield, but it was broader than that). He said, “I walked round the village boundaries, which are ancient ditches: very deep, dug into the clay, and full of torrential yellow winter water.” And at that moment, the thought occurred to me of how fundamentally anonymous most laborers’ lives are. There is a long list of names on the wall of the church in Akenfield, but very few people can recall who the people on the list were or what they looked like. However, they were still alive during our century. Therefore, one can’t help but think about the generations that came before us. This was the beginning of the book. A certain degree of sympathy for those engaged in farming.
Blythe envisioned his work not as an exposé of rural life with all of its scandals and secrets, but rather as “the poetry of the commonplace,” which explores the depth and variety that can be found in the lives of regular people. He refrained from including “characters” from the village that would have contributed to rural stereotypes, but he effectively conjured up the personalities and ways of speaking of the average citizens of Akenfield.
Leave a Reply