All Around the Year

Michael Morpurgo


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Little Toller Books
3 October 2023
ISBN: 9781915068224
250 pages

From the publisher

‘I love this book for so many reasons, because of so many people:because of Ted Hughes’s poems, because of the photographs by James Ravilious, because it’s about the place where Clare and I live, where our family grew up, and which helped me grow my stories, War HorsePrivate Peaceful and many others, and because it’s a living story still being told everyday.’ Michael Morpurgo

‘12th June: I found a tawny owlet up against the stone bank on Burrow Lane just before milking this morning. It was camouflaged against the stone and it was only because one eye blinked black and shiny that I picked it out. It’s not injured, just exhausted and cold at spending the night out of the nest. Back home in front of the stove it revived and this evening it is sitting up…’

All Around the Year is the diary of Parsonage Farm in Iddelseigh, North Devon, where life is remote and has remained unchanged for centuries. This story of a family farm, with its daily hardships and rewards, is accompanied by the poems of Morpurgo’s friend and neighbour, Ted Hughes, whose own writing was inspired by his nearby farm. Alongside Morpurgo’s diary and Hughes’s poetry, the book is illustrated with the beautiful photographs of James Ravilious, who documented rural life in Devon for 17 years and worked closely with Clare and Michael Morpurgo to create the first edition. 

Originally published in 1979, All Around the Year was life-changing for  Morpurgo. It was his first book, and these early impressions of the English countryside grew into a deliberate undertaking that he describes as the best story of his life: the founding of Farms for City Children, a charity started with his wife Clare in 1976, that has since enabled over 100,000 city children to spend a week in the countryside, living and working on a farm.