Long Summer Day by R.F. Delderfield

Long Summer Day cover

Long Summer Day by R.F. Delderfield was first published in 1966 and it’s the first book in his A Horseman Riding By trilogy. It’s a good read, I’ll probably give it four stars on Goodreads.

It begins in 1901 and ends in 1911. At the beginning Paul has been invalided out of the army, he was in the cavalry and had been fighting in the Boer War, a bullet wound to his knee had ended all that. The end of his army career has come at more or less the same time as the death of his father which means that he has inherited a half share in a very lucrative scrap metal business. The war had made it even more successful than it had been, but Paul isn’t at all interested in the business and is happy to leave the running of it to his ‘uncle’ Franz, his father’s business partner.

Paul knows that he wants to live an outdoor life and despite having no experience of it he’s drawn to farming. When a large estate is advertised for sale he goes to view it and falls in love with the place. The locals make up a great cast of quirky characters and I can see that this series is going to be an enjoyable journey through British social history. I’m presuming that the next two books will be dealing with the two World Wars that changed society so much.

This one was on my new Classics Club list – another one bites the dust.

10 thoughts on “Long Summer Day by R.F. Delderfield

  1. Katrina,
    This is a very long book. I know because I have this one on my Nook and would love to read it, but I’ve noticed its length and all the other books in my pile. However did you read it so quickly? Kudos to you. I’m glad you liked it. I will just dig into it some one day soon.

    • Judith,
      Mine is an old paperback with small print and it was not far off 600 pages, so it took me the best part of a week to finish it. That’s why I’m leaving it a wee while before I pick up the next one, I want to get some slimmer books under my belt before then.

  2. Katrina,
    Once again, your review of a book has sent me to google to find out more about a series of books. I have only read one of Delderfield’s books which is to Serve Them All My Days, and it doesn’t seem to fit into any of the series. I have found all of the Swann saga books in used books stores, so I look forward to reading those. Now that I know about the Horsemen Riding By trilogy, I will definitely be on the lookout for those titles. All of his books seem to be lengthy, but the one I read was certainly worth it.

    • Paula,
      They are certainly lengthy books, a bit off putting, especially as I have so many books I want to read. I’m giving myself a break from his books before picking up the next one. I’m sure this series was televised in the 1970s, but I didn’t see it.

  3. I heard of these books from Helen at She Reads Novels and devoured all 3 last summer. They are long but so easy to read. I think this one is the best of the 3 and I’ll be interested in whether you feel the same way.

    • Sandra,
      They are long and my old paperback has really small print, but as you say – easy to read. I’ll certainly let you know which I like best – eventually.

  4. I’m pleased to hear you enjoyed this, Katrina. I loved it when I read it last summer and have the next one lined up to read soon – it’s only the length that has been putting me off.

    • Helen,
      I think that if the books were printed today they would be over 1,000 pages as the print in my 1960s copy is so small – as was normal in those days. I’ll probably begin the next one when I see that you have started it.

  5. Katrina: I loved the series when I first read it over 40 years ago. I re-read them about 20 years ago and enjoyed them just as much the second time. Delderfield created wonderful sagas that swept me along. I wanted to visit the area where the series was set but have never been there in my travels. Maybe on a future trip …

    • Bill Selnes,
      I believe the setting is Devon, we’ve only been there once, it’s quite a drive from Scotland, but I remember being very impressed with it, strangely most people seem to travel on to Cornwall though and miss out Devon. I think I’ll enjoy the next books in the trilogy just as much as I love WW1 settings with all the social upheaval. I really loved Delderfield’s two Avenue books recently.
      Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to comment. I hope you get to make that Devon trip eventually.

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