Monday, May 31, 2010

H.V. Morton--A Real "Find" For Readers

A friend of mine was recently going through the belongings of a deceased relative when she made the kind of discovery that brings joy to the hearts of readers. This discovery consisted of a couple of books by a writer she had never heard of, one H.V. Morton. These were far from ordinary books; they were the kind you wanted to commune with on long wintry nights (forget the television!) or on summer evenings in the long orange twilight.
My friend decided she had to take the measure of this--to her--unknown writer; so she sat down with one of his best-known works, "In Search Of Scotland". Within pages, she was captivated by his ability to paint landscapes with words and his deep commitment to the things and people he was writing about. He was a poet who happened to express himself in prose.
All these are excellent qualities for a travel writer, which is what Henry Canova Vollam Morton was. A Lancashireman, he was born in Ashton-under-Lyne, England, in 1892. He died far away, in South Africa, in 1979, where he and his family moved following World War II.
Morton, like all travel writers, drew pictures of what was for him the here-and-now, and is now history. He did it with deep feeling, with learning, and with high intelligence. I was so busy that, when my friend urged me to read his work, I was reluctant to take the time.
I certainly am glad I did! Now I am a member of the world-wide (and free-to-join) H.V. Morton Society, determined to read all of his 50-some books and to spread word about him as far as I can.
My suggestion to you? Find and try a Morton book. Then, let me know what you think.

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