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Ronald Blythe CBE: Author of  ‘Word from Wormingford’ in The Church Times

Ronald Blythe CBE (born 1922) is an English writer and editor, best known for his Akenfield: Portrait of an English Village (1969), a portrait of agricultural life in Suffolk from the turn of the century to the 1960s. As editor of Penguin Classicss for more than 20 years, Ronald Blythe has edited modern editions of works by writers such as Thomas Hardy, Henry James and William Hazlitt. He has also prepared a number of compilations, including The Pleasure of Diaries (1989) and Private Words: Letters and Diaries from the Second World War (1993). Until mid-2017 he wrote a weekly column in The Church Times titled ‘Word from Wormingford’. He was awarded a Benson Medal in 2006 and the CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in June 2017, for services to literature.

Ronald Blythe was born in Suffolk, England and educated in Sudbury, Suffolk. He was a reference librarian in Colchester for ten years, where he founded the Colchester Literary Society. While a young man, he worked for Benjamin Britten at the Aldeburgh Festival.   He has lived in East Anglia since 1955 when he became a writer full time.

Much of Ronald Blythe’s work focuses on the subject of rural England.   His works include A Treasonable Growth (1960), The Age of Illusion (1964), Akenfield: Portrait of an English Village (1969), A View in Winter: Reflections on Old Age (1979), From the Headlands (1982), Divine Landscapes (1986), Word from Wormingford (1998).Talking About John Clare (1999) and Out of the Valley (2000)

He is a Church of England Reader in the Benefice of Wormingford & Mt Bures w Lt Horkesley and a lay canon of St Edmundsbury Cathedral.   He also holds the Bishop of Chelmsford’s medal for services to the church in the diocese of Chelmsford.

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