Tom and I have returned from a holiday in Dorset where much pride of place is given to local writers. Thomas Hardy was undoubtedly influenced by Richard Jefferies. T E Lawrence's [Lawrence of Arabia] retreat at Clouds Hill had Jefferies' books displayed on the shelves. John Fowles has gone so far as to sign the Save Coate petition.
"If we had never before looked upon the earth, but suddenly came to it man or woman grown, set down in the midst of a summer mead, would it not seem to us a radiant vision? The hues, the shapes, the song and life of birds, above all the sunlight, the breath of heaven, resting on it; the mind would be filled with its glory unable to grasp it, hardly believing that such things could be mere matter ... too beautiful to be long watched lest it should fade away."
Coate was very special then as it is to those of us now who see with Jefferies eyes. Let it be a literary attraction for tourists who want to marvel at the images that created such passionate prose.