'Cider With Rosie' by Laurie Lee (1914-1997) has been a favourite set text in English lessons in Britain since it was published in 1959. Like many a good literary biography, it reads quite like a novel, but records the early life of Laurie Lee who grew up in the years after the First World War. He lived in the beauty of a small Cotswold valley until he was twenty, his impressions also incidentally capture the final years of a deeply rural way of English life, now thoroughly gone. The village was poor, self-sufficient, and still rather feudal. The people were wild and superstitious, half Celtic and half Christian. (A good parallel may be drawn with the book of 'British Fairy Tales', as recorded by Alan Garner, captured from the same era.) Disease and hunger were no stranger, big families were common, and children often died young. The valley was no innocent place of country idylls and Laurie Lee compares their toughness to that of inner city London lads. As he grows up grows up, so does his story, including the famous cider with Rosie Burdock (not her real name).
This report prepared by Michael JR Jose