On this and the following pages you can access publications produced by the Richard Jefferies Society. Some are available as free downloads.
Books can be puchased online or by post by completing the order form available here.
rates apply to the UK only. Overseas buyers should make contact
first. Surface mail is approximately twice the UK postal rate.
A good selection of Richard Jefferies' works is available at the Richard Jefferies Museum.
Go to later fiction publications page.
Go to Anthology publications page.
Go to booklet publications page.
Go to research publications page.
Go to pamphlets publications page.EARLY FICTION
Richard Jefferies is celebrated mainly for his writing about nature, the countryside and farming. However, as a young man he first tried to win fame and fortune through fiction. In the mid-1870s three novels were published under the commercial imprint of Tinsley Brothers.
All three books have been re-printed by the Richard Jefferies Society with introductions by Andrew Rossabi and can be bought on this page using credit/debit cards.
The Scarlet Shawl
The Scarlet Shawl is the first and the slightest of the three published early novels, but in some ways the most charming. It is a tale of how the young and likeable Nora loses her admirer and would-be lover, Percival. She nearly drifts into a loveless marriage, only to be rescued by luck and her own last remnants of common sense.
There is humour, too, in the character of the hopeless, conceited Wootton who fancies that he will win Nora in marriage, but fears her reaction when she sees him without his cosmetic aids that maintain his youthful appearance.
The novel gathers strength as it proceeds and Jefferies shakes off the awkward self-consciousness that mars the early chapters, and his personality begins to dominate. There are several passages of power and beauty. One can see Jefferies preparing himself to be the great countryside writer that he later becomes.
The Scarlet Shawl (first published in 1874)
UK price: £5.99 plus postage £2.00
Restless Human Hearts
Restless Human Hearts is the centrepiece of the triptych, an ambitious three-volume work that anticipates the mature author in many of its themes. Nature and nature mysticism are sharply contrasted with the decadence of fashionable Mayfair society. Brimming with original and often audacious ideas, the novel is also notable for its gallery of women characters – Heloise, who experiences mystical raptures alone on the downs but marries a brutal and debased peer; Georgiana, a feminist intellectual who defies convention by entering on a trial marriage with her lover; and the sin-stained Carlotta, a cross-dressing femme fatale whose nemesis comes in a close encounter with a cobra in a train compartment.
This new edition carries a lively introduction by Andrew Rossabi, past President of The Richard Jefferies Society, who argues for a revaluation of a neglected novel never before re-issued.
The book is published in hardback with no dust-cover as well as in paper-back. The illustration above is taken from the cover of the paper-book.
Restless Human Hearts (first published 1875)
Published in 2008 by Petton Books.
UK Price (hard-back) £20 plus post & packaging £2.50
UK Price (soft-back) £8 plus & packing £2.50
Last and best of the three novels Richard Jefferies published under the Tinsley Bros imprint, World’s End opens with a compelling foundation-myth of the manufacturing city of Stirmingham, whose phenomenal growth is ironically traced back to the activities of a water-rat.
The plot centres on the machinations surrounding the great Baskette claims case, based on a real-life event. From the sulphurous atmosphere of Stirmingham the focus shifts to a lonely village on the downs, where Aymer Malet, an impoverished artist in love with nature and le beau idéal, becomes engaged to Violet Waldron. The scenes of rural life are depicted with much charm and freshness but Stirmingham’s baleful influence impinges in the form of a particularly gruesome murder. The novel has considerable biographical interest in its portrait of the young artist hero. His struggles mirror those of the author, whose fascination with the paranormal is evinced in the eerie trysts of the lonely châtelaine Lady Lechester with a mysterious winged daimon.
World’s End displays Jefferies’ gift for limpid narrative at its best; throws out many original, suggestive and often astonishingly prescient ideas; and contains several passages of intense lyric beauty. This new edition of a novel never before reprinted carries an authoritative introduction by Andrew Rossabi.
World’s End (first published 1877)
Published in 2008 by Petton Books.
UK Price £7.99 plus postage £2.50
Softback, 415 pages
The Rise of Maximin
Emperor of the Occident
Compiled by Lucius, Keeper of the Imperial Archives at Iscapolis and translated by Richard Jefferies.
This fictional record of the conquests of the Emperor Maximin was first published in serial form in The New Monthly Magazine between October 1876 and July 1877. Until now, it had not been republished.
Richard Jefferies presents the epic rise to power not as a work of fiction but as authentic history based on documentary evidence – complete with a compiler, translator (himself) and an introduction.
Son of a farmer, Maximin has two brothers and is exiled from his home as a result of his actions and his controversial writing. He assembles an army of loyal followers who believe in the philosophy laid down in his “Four Books” and who see him as a benefactor of mankind.
Maximin embarks on a year-long military campaign, and, with his faithful brothers and friends, overthrows the oppressive rulers of a massive territory that includes his birthplace at Sandover. Battling the forces of nature, and learning the hidden secrets of war, Maximin’s journey sees him change from a lonely exile to the most powerful ruler in the land. The Rise of Maximin embodies the hopes and aspirations of the young Jefferies, and is a forerunner to After London (1885).
The book illustrates Jefferies’ breadth of historical knowledge – particularly the Roman period – and his insights into the intricacies of war. Maximin’s poem – ‘Rah!’ or ‘Sunlight’ – embodies Jefferies’ early spiritual aspirations, and the journey narrative affords unique insight into his thought during the early 1870s.
Rebecca Welshman has written a masterful introduction to the book.
Maximin was published by the Richard Jefferies Society on 6 November 2012 in a hardback limited edition of 60 copies at a cost of £20 (200 pages).
ISBN: 978-0-9563751-3-1. Postage UK: £2.50; overseas by surface mail: £5.00.
Purchase online selecting UK or overseas postage.