Story of my heart - my autobiography - PDF by Richard Jefferies

Story of my heart; my autobiography 

Story of my heart; my autobiography

John Richard Jefferies was an English nature writer, noted for his depiction of English rural life in essays, books of natural history, and novels. His childhood on a small Wiltshire farm had a great influence on him and provides the background to all his major works of fiction

The title of this book is ' The Story of my Heart: my Autobiography,' but it is not an autobiography in the ordinary sense of the word. It contains no history of the events of Richard Jefferies' life. It is in no way concerned with his birth or his marriage, his actions, or his fortunes. All that is known of these has been told in ' The Eulogy of Richard Jefferies/ by Walter Besant. Sunt lachrymose rerum, as the ancient poet sang, and for those who have tears to shed, what story is there more sure to draw them than that tale of heroic struggle against the agony of disease, of genius unappreciated until it was too late

The Story of my Heart Surely it is one of the most singular books that man of genius ever wrote. It is well described by its title. It is an outpouring of Jefferies' innermost soul. Like many others, he found himself at odds with the world. He saw the beauty of the land, the grandeur of the sea, the interest of life above all of human life but he was not satisfied.

 He longed for more beauty, a fuller grandeur, a deeper interest. This feeling completely mastered him, and in ' The Story of my Heart ' he poured out with what strength and what skill he possessed the intensity of his longing. In republishing such a book it will not be thought out of place to gather together such few scraps of his writing as remain which seem to throw light on its genesis and its meaning.

Excerpt
The story of my heart commences seventeen years ago. In the glow of youth, there were times every now and then when I felt the necessity of a strong inspiration of soul- thought. My heart was dusty, parched for want of the rain of deep feeling; my mind arid and dry, for there is dust which settles on the heart as well as that which falls on a ledge. It is injurious to the mind as well as to the body to be always in one place and always surrounded by the same circum- stances. A species of thick clothing slowly grows about the mind, the pores are choked, little habits become a part of existence, and by degrees, the mind is enclosed in a husk. 

When this began to form I felt eager to escape from it, to throw it off like heavy clothing, to drink deeply once more at the fresh fountains of life. An inspiration a long deep breath of the pure air of thought could alone give health to the heart. There was a hill to which I used to resort at such periods. The labour of walking three miles to it, all the while gradually ascending, seemed to clear my blood of the heaviness accumulated at home. 

On a warm summer day, the slow continued rise required continual effort, which carried away the sense of oppression. The familiar everyday scene was soon out of sight; I came to other trees, meadows, and fields; I began to breathe new air and to have a fresher aspiration. I restrained my soul till I reached the sward of the hill; psyche, the soul that longed to be loose. I would write psyche always instead of the soul to avoid meanings that have become attached to the word soul, but it is awkward to do so. Clumsy indeed are all words the moment the wooden stage of commonplace life is left. I restrained my psyche, my soul, till I reached and put my foot on the grass at the beginning of the green hill itself.


the book details :
  • Author: Richard Jefferies 
  • Publication date: 1898
  • Company:  London - Longman

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