Bound Upon A Course
John Stewart Collis
'Bound Upon a Course' takes a generous glance at the life of the celebrated biographer, John Stewart Collis. In this autobiography, Collis recounts his difficult childhood in Ireland, his decision to write, the years spent on the cultural fringe in London, and his acquaintance with the literary personalities of Rose Macaulay, W B Yeats and T S Eliot. But it was his decision to work on the land in 1940, which marked a watershed in his career. These rural experiences shaped his philosophy and resulted in the undisputed classic 'The Worm Forgives the Plough'. Subtle, modest and acutely perceptive, this is an intriguing portrait of a man who was a unique synthesis of scientist, scholar and poet.
The most neglected master of English prose.
Author biography:John Stewart Collis The son of a prosperous Dublin solicitor, John Stewart Collis (1900-1984) was educated at Rugby School and Balliol, Oxford. After a short time at theological college, he became a writer. His first book – a critical study of George Bernard Shaw – was published to wide acclaim. Unable to repeat this success, he spent the pre-war years living in poverty. His fortunes changed in 1940 when he became a farm labourer working on the land in Dorset and Sussex. These experiences were published as the classic 'The Worm Forgives the Plough'.
In 1947, Collis’ talents were officially recognised when he won the Heinemann Foundation Award for Literature. He wrote biographies of Christopher Columbus, Havelock Ellis and Leo Tolstoy and is also celebrated for his works on natural phenomena in which he took a scientific subject and described it from the layperson’s point of view. Full of curiosity for the things most of us take for granted, these are the works of which Collis was most proud.
His imaginative autobiography, 'Bound Upon a Course', also reawakened interest in his earlier works and brought him belated recognition as a pioneer in the ecological movement.