The Golden Swan (1965) by James Playsted Wood
Jem's family are Huguenot emigre glassblowers living in the 'Great Forest'. Amidst the tensions and violence of the Civil War he develops new friendships.
The Thane of the Dean (1899) by Tom BevanTom Bevan
Two Saxon brothers defend the Forest against a corrupt Norman lord and attacks by the Welsh.
Sea Dogs All! A Tale of Forest and Sea (1911) by Tom Bevan
A fabulous adventure tale that sees the hero stop a Spanish plot to burn down the Forest. With appearances by Raleigh, Drake and Elizabeth I, there's adventure on the high seas too.
No Quarter! (1885) by Thomas Mayne Reid
A gripping English Civil War tale centred on the Forest, a Parliamentarian family and a host of engaging characters.
Forest Heart: a civil war tale of a Forest of Dean Family (1998) by Chris Tye
Two Coleford brothers get drawn into the Parliamentarian army, the siege of Gloucester and the fight for control of the Forest.
To Keep This Oath (1958) by Hebe Weenolson
Set in 12th century England the story sees a Saxon runaway kidnapped by Forest miners. Full of fascinating detail, it follows the young hero as he learns medicine from an elderly monk, and has an important royal encounter.
Let the Hero be the Hungry Man (2000) by Ralph Anstis
Journey To Worlds End (2004) by Maggie Clutterbuck
Caught On Tape (2012) by Maggie Clutterbuck
Shelter (2017) by Sarah Franklin
Connie leaves the city to join the Timber Corps in the Forest of Dean. She meets Seppie, an Italian POW, as they both begin to find themselves.
The White Sparrow (1954) by John Moore
The coming of age story of a mixed heritage boy living on the edge of the Forest of Dean. One scene finds him in Ruardean asking about bears...
Sugar Hall (2014) by Tiffany Murray
This claustrophobic, neo-gothic style novel is set in 1955 and draws inspiration from the history and stories associated with Littledean Hall. A tour de force of contemporary novel writing.
Hide and Seek (1973) by Dennis Potter
Heaven's Gate: A Story of the Forest of Dean (1886) by 'Lawrence Severn' [Ada M. Trotter]
Bledisloe or Aunt Pen's American Nieces: An International Story (1887) by Ada M. Trotter
SHORT STORIES & COLLECTIONS
Dean Forest Stories (1992) by Ralph Anstis
Dene Forest Sketches (1887) by S. M. Crawley-Boevey
Dene Forest Sketches, second series (1899) by S. M. Crawley-Boevey
Tales in the Speech House (1886) by Charles F. Grindrod
ABOUT THE FOREST OF DEAN (non-fiction)
Forest of Dean (1952) by F. W. Baty
The Forest of Dean (1913) by Arthur O. Cooke
Beautifully illustrated it covers both history and the contemporary Forest of the 1910's as the author systematically tours the area.
Severn, Wye and Forest of Dean (1945) by A. Dorothy Holmes
The Changing Forest: a social enquiry into the Forest of Dean (1962) by Dennis Potter
This personal journalistic enquiry by the young Dennis Potter demonstrates an eye for detail, nuance of analysis, feeling for the Forest, and a fierce intellect.
The Forest of Dean (1951) by Brian Waters
Warren James and the Forest of Dean Riots (1986) by Ralph Anstis
The story of the 1831 riots in the Forest against enclosures. This engagingly written history gives the background and aftermath of the riots, and the story of its leader Warren James.
Blood On Coal: the 1926 general strike and miners’ lockout in the Forest of Dean (1999) by Ralph Anstis
The Last Deep Mine of Dean (1988) by Maurice Bent
The Musical tradition of Dean: Volume 1 (1997) by Maurice Bent
The Old Industries of Dean (1980) by David Bick
Our Industrial Heritage: The Tinplaters of Lydney and Lydbrook (n.d.) Bryan Rendell & Keith Childs
The result of a remarkable Whitecross School project IN THE 1980s the book is full of first hand testimony and fine photographs.
Custom, Work and Market Capitalism: the Forest of Dean Colliers (1981) by Chris Fisher
The Commoners of Dean Forest (1951) by Cyril Hart
The Industrial History of Dean (1971) by Cyril Hart
The Verderers and Forest Laws of Dean (1971) by Cyril Hart
Between Severn (Saefern) and Wye (Waege) in the Year 1000: a prelude to the Norman Forest of Dene in Glowcestscire and Herefordscire (2000) by Cyril Hart
The Forest of Dean: new history 1550-1818 (1995) by Cyril Hart
The Free Miners of the Forest of Dean and Hundred of St Briavels (2002) by Cyril Hart
Bermuda Dick (2002) by Averil Kear.
A fascinating and detailed account of the rape trial and subsequent transportation to Bermuda of a Yorkley man in the c19th.
The Forest of Dean: an historical and descriptive account (1858) Rev. H. G. Nicholls.
The first historian of the Forest, Nicholls' book covers its history, topography and culture. He also details the contemporary Forest of the 1850s. Re-issued in 1966 as a facsimile the edition included Nicholls' 1866 work Iron Making in the Olden Times.
Newnham-on-Severn: A Retrospect (1962, 1st published 1912) by Mabel K. Woods
A wonderful, detailed history of this beautiful Forest former maritime town.
The Archaeology and History of Ancient Dean and the Wye Valley (1992) by Bryan Walters
An Air That Kills (1995) by Andrew Taylor
POETRY & VERSE
Knots and Branches (2016) by Stewart Carswell
Digging Deep (2014) by Maggie Clutterbuck
Thoughtful contemporary poetry dealing with family, relationships and a wide range of other themes. The collection includes two moving poems in dialect. .
The 'azards o' Chimuck Szwippin' (1978) by Keith Morgan
A master of Forest dialect verse, this first collection covers aspects of life in the Forest past and present. Funny, moving, always entertaining it includes some fine short poems in standard English too.
Albert's Dree Wi'ker (1985) by Keith Morgan
More dialect verse on Forest themes, this shorter collection includes 'Varest National Anthem'. A series of reflective poems in standard English towards the end demonstrate the author's versatility and depth.
Dean Scenes in Pictures and Rhyme (n.d.) by Pete Ralph
Poetry from the past
A Collection of Poems on the Forest of Dean and it's Neighbourhood (1841) by Catherine Drew
The Rustic's Lay, and other poems (1817) by William S. Wickenden
people & pLACES
Four Personalities from the Forest of Dean (1996) by Ralph Antis
Engaging and fascinating history on four significant Forest figures: Sir Charles Dilke MP, Catharina Bovey, Tomothy Mounty, and Sir John Wyntour.
Highest Point of Dean (1985) by Maurice Bent
A Fortunate Man (1967) by John Berger & Jean Mohr
An in-depth exploration of the relationship between a country GP and his patients, in words by Berger and photographs by Jean Mohr. 'Dr. Sasall' in the book was Berger's friend Dr. John Eskell and the Forest village community was St Briavels.
The Personalities of the Forest of Dean (1863) by Rev. H. G. Nicholls
My Father Knew Will Harvey (2019) by David Adams
A Disorderly Settlement (2012) by David Adams, illustrated by Helen Sandford
In Search of Our Forest Heritage (2013) by David Adams and Claire Ham
A Native Forester: The Life and Poems of Richard Morse of Yorkley (2012) by David Adams and Chris Nancollas
Severnside to Circassia: Being the Life and Works of the Remarkable Rev. William Wickenden of Etloe, Bard of the Forest (2016) by David Adams
A fabulous insight into this remarkable, and sadly forgotten, successful nineteenth century author and poet.
Remenisance & Auto-biography
Chronicles of an Ancient Forest (2001) by John Christian
Green Wood (1962) by Leonard Clark
A Fool in the Forest (1965) by Leonard Clark
Grateful Caliban (1967) by Leonard Clark
Where I Was Bred (197?) William J. Creswick
A Child in the Forest (1974) by Winifred Foley
Memories of a Forest childhood in the 1920s and 30s. This affectionate portrait of working-class family life, community and hard times, sees 'Poll' leave school to work in service.
No Pipe Dreams For Father: scenes from a Forest of Dean village childhood (1977) by Winifred Foley
Back to the Forest (1981) by Winifred Foley
In and Out of the Forest (1984) by Winifred Foley
Shear Magic: a childhood memoir of village and farm life in the Forest of Dean (2002) by Danny Haines
Where I Belong: A Forest of Dean childhood in the 1930s (1993) by Joyce Latham
Whistling in the Dark: A Forest of Dean girlhood in the 1940s (1994) by Joyce Latham
The Life Labours, and Deliverances of a Forest of Dean Collier... (1887) by Timothy Mountjoy
Just Where I Belong (1978) by Humphrey Phelps
Lessons of a Lifetime (circa 1984) edited by Brian Rendell & Keith Childs
A brilliant collection of histories based on interviews conducted by Whitecross School pupils in 1983. Covering numerous aspects of social history in the Forest from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Across the Yard (2001) by Eric J. Rice
A Doctor in the Forest (1979) by Bill Tandy
Part memoir, part Forest history primer, it is full of brilliant crafted anecdotes from one of the Forest's most well regarded and loved doctors.
Another Doctor in the Forest (2018) by Chris Nancollas
The Secret Forest of Dean (1986) by Fay Godwin
Spirit of the Forest (2010) by David Lloyd
Work in the Woods: Dean's Industrial Legacy (2002) by Chris Morris
Forest of Dean (2011) by Chris Morris
Forest Humour (1977) by Harry Beddington
Poetry, polemic and stories all in Forest dialect. Warm, funny and thought-provoking in equal measure.
The Roadsiders: It's Kev 'n Dave (2011) by 'Baz' [Robin Phelps]
A work of graphic, comic, satirical and Forest dialect genius.
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