Donkey Boy (1952) was the second entry in Henry Williamson's fifteen-volume A Chronicle of Ancient Sunlightspanning the years from the late Victorian period to the Second World War. It tells of Richard Maddison's first-born Phillip, nicknamed 'donkey boy' because his life was saved in infancy by being fed with ass's milk. The boy grows up in the Edwardian era, something of a misfit, at odds with his father.
'With extraordinary skill and precision [Williamson] rebuilds the scenery of the past... [he] seems to be engaged in a thriller whose instalments can be relied on to animate a whole section of social history.' Spectator
'Williamson's style is romantic, though rarely sentimental, and his sensuous response to nature is fresh and surprising.' Anthony Burgess, Ninety-Nine Novels: The Best in English since 1939