Alfred Edgar Coppard, born in Folkestone, Kent in 1878, was known for his short stories depicting the English rural scene and its characters. The charm of his stories lay in his poetic feeling for the countryside and in his amusing and dramatic presentation of rustic characters.
Like Guy de Maupassant or Thomas Hardy, Coppard was also a compassionate observer of the lives of women, particularly poor, abandoned, or “fallen” women, both young and old. He specialised in portraying the quiet lives of the ordinary working people.
Fishmonger’s Fiddle (1925) is a collection of Coppard’s short stories, studded with rare, odd and bizarre characters and behaviours.
It contains what is perhaps his best story, “The Higgler”, in which a young, impecunious peddler is offered a prosperous farm and the hand of her daughter by a dying widow. However he is suspicious of his good fortune, and rejects both. In the end, it’s the lovelorn daughter we most care about; it’s her fate that moves us.
Published by Penguin in 1941.
Acceptable condition. Tear on back cover. Good reading copy.