Ronald Blythe Dies: Ronald George Blythe CBE was a British writer, essayist, and editor born on November 6, 1922, and died on January 14, 2023. He is best known for his 1969 book Akenfield, which tells the story of farming in Suffolk from the turn of the century to the 1960s. “Word from Wormingford,” his weekly column in the Church Times, ran for a long time and got a lot of praise.
Suffolk Nature Writer Ronald Blythe Dies at 100!
Ronald Blythe CBE died at the age of 100. He wrote about the English countryside and a way of life quickly fading. The author grew up poor near Sudbury, Suffolk, and learned by borrowing books from the library.
His most famous book, Akenfield, is about life in a Suffolk village between the 1890s and the 1960s. His friend Ian Collins said, “He had this earthy Suffolk philosophy. He was very wise, but he didn’t act like it.”
“Being in one of Ronnie Blythe’s books is like being on a magic carpet. All the good things about being alive, nature, the world, and what people have done make you feel like you’re on a magic carpet.”
Blythe wrote more than 30 books. In 2017, he was given a CBE for his work in literature as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours. Sir Peter Hall’s movie version of Akenfield used local people. It was shown in theatres in the country in 1975, and its producers said that 14 million people watched it on TV that same year.
Blythe was the oldest of six children. He came from a long line of shepherds and farm workers, and he quit school when he was 14. In 2015, he and singer Ed Sheeran were both given honorary degrees by the University of Suffolk.
“He listened, looked around, and read. He was a product of the public library system,” said Mr. Collins, one of Blythe’s carers and the person in charge of his literary estate. “He didn’t think about his problems a lot. Instead, he enjoyed life, but what he did was much more important than most people realize.”
He spent most of his life within 10 miles of where he was born and watched the countryside around him. This gave him a deep understanding of the places he wrote about. The book Akenfield, which came out in 1969, looked at how much the Suffolk countryside had changed over 70 years.
The made-up name was based on a real place. He talked to people in the area where he grew up and put together their memories and thoughts to make a picture of life in the English countryside.
In 2015, he talked to BBC Radio Suffolk on the 40th anniversary of the movie based on the book, which was shot in Suffolk and starred people from the area. “I had no idea that way of life was going away when I wrote it,” he said.
On the sad news of the death of Ronald Blythe CBE (6 November 1922 – 14 January 2023) we recognise and are grateful for the incredible literary contribution this great, local writer has made to the world of words.
Rest in peace and thank you.#RonaldBlythe b. #sudburysuffolk pic.twitter.com/58DyulV8Ju
— Sudbury Town Council (@SudburyTC) January 16, 2023
“It just touched on that moment when things change by accident.” Mr. Collins said that Blythe didn’t miss the past and knew that many farm workers died of overwork during the Great Depression.
“He knew how hard it was for farmers in the 1920s and 1930s, but he also knew how beautiful it was. There were a lot of wild yellowhammers, nightingales, and linnets, which are hard to see now.”
When he was in his 50s, he wrote The View in Winter. It was a positive look at old age. Mr. Collins said, “He thought getting old was a treasure. He hated the idea of care homes and thought people should stay home if they could, which is what he did.”
“He died at home on Saturday, in bed, surrounded by people who loved him. “He was so funny, kind, and young at heart. He liked being with young people because he stayed young himself.
“He was very grateful and interested in everything, including death. “He gave us advice on how to live.” If you find this interesting, please forward it to your friends. Visit Lighthousejournal.org for the most up-to-date and recent celebrity news.