John Moore’s writing

Let us give you a taste of John’s gift for observation, description and understanding, taken from just four of his books.

From The Blue Field (1948):
  ‘Beyond the church, at the bottom of the Rectory lawn, runs the river, Shakespeare’s Avon winding its way down to the Severn between flat meadows and osier beds: margined with loosestrife, lily-padded, perch-haunted, meandering. This is the ultimate objective of most of our summer visitors. Many of them are anglers, who line the banks on Saturdays and Sundays patiently watching their painted floats and whooping with joy whenever they pull out a tiddler. Their needs are catered for by Jakey Jones the odd-job man whose cottage at the end of Ferry Lane bears on its garden-gate in summer the horrifying invitation: LOBWORMS, FAT MAGGOTS, WARSP-GRUBS IN SEASON, TEAS.’

From The Season of the Year (1954):
  ‘Under the act which constituted the river boards, it is actually an offence for anybody to plant a tree on the bank of a river. It is an offence to create beauty; it is legal and admirable to destroy and lay bare! That is what we have come to; that is the logical conclusion of utilitarianism. But if we must have utilitarianism, let us be quite sure that what we are doing with our bulldozers is at least some use to somebody. When I glance down from my hill at Tewkesbury’s Abbey Tower rising out of a waste of waters I am inclined to wonder’

From The Year of the Pigeons (1963):
  ‘Small officials with suburban minds and a passion for suburban ‘tidiness’ are doing more to spoil the English countryside than all the housing estates, new roads, drainage schemes and timber-felling. They like to lay concrete kerbs to keep the verges tidy; they like to ‘pipe’ our pretty little streams whenever they run through the villages, to prevent the untidy flowers growing along them, and also I dare say to spoil the fun of dam-building small children who sometimes block them up, causing small floods.’

And finally, from his last novel, The Waters under the Earth (1965), on Stow Horse Fair:
  ‘You stepped back centuries when you followed the multitudinous hoofmarks down to that field full of folk. Only the horses were contemporary: the humans all seemed to belong to some other day than ours. There were huge Hogarthian farmers, rolling as they walked, landlubbers who had caught the sailor’s gait from their undulating downs. There were shepherds lean as their collies, Landseer-subjects with Landseer-dogs at heel. There were immemorial gypsies bitterly bargaining as they sold each other piebald ponies: the Romany version of taking in each other’s washing.’