... author of The Peregrine, seems to be one of those elusive writers, like B. Traven. But the intrepid Dave Lull has tracked down some information about him:
John Alec Baker
(English writer, 1926-)
Also known as: J. Alec Baker, John Russell Baker, J. A. Baker
Source: Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2002.
Entry Updated : 07/16/2001
Christopher Wordsworth says of The Peregrine: "This rapt and remarkable
book is the record of a 10 year obsession and a paean to the winter
landscape of East Anglia." Ralph C. Baxter feels that "the genre may be
confusing to define. . . . It probably has to be called the winter
diary of a naturalist--though it is both more and less." Baxter
describes the language as "brutal, hard, Saxon in quality. Yet it is
sharp, crisp, buright, like the fire that Baker perceives glowing in
the breasts of the peregrine falcons (females) and tiercels (males). .
. . The language is perhaps the most poetic prose I have recently read.
. . . It is perhaps Baker's complete readiness to accept the truth of
nature--its uncompromising quality--that makes The Peregrine such a
"The Hill of Summer," writes Neil Millar, "is not just another nature
book. It is unique, poetic, feeling as well as seeing, built out of a
naturalist's observation and a prose like adolescence: sensitive,
romantic, clear-eyed, gawky, beautiful." Richard Kenneggy notes that
"To read a few pages of The Hill of Summer is like finding there is
still peace on earth."
Family: Born August 6, 1926, in Chelmsford, Essex, England; son of
Wilfred Samuel (a draftsman) and Pansy (Collis) Baker; married Doreen
Grace Coe, October 6, 1956. c/o William Colins Sons & Co., 14 St. James
Pl., London S.W.1, England. Education: Attended schools in Chelmsford
until seventeen. Politics: None. Religion: Protestant.
Arts Council of Great Britain prose bursary, 1967; Duff Cooper Memorial
Prize, 1968, for The Peregrine.
Worked at fourteen "miscellaneous" jobs, 1943-65, including clerk,
schoolteacher, attendant at British Museum Library, and laborer.
WRITINGS BY THE AUTHOR:
The Peregrine, Harper, 1967.
The Hill of Summer, Collins, 1969, Harper, 1970.
FURTHER READINGS ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Observer, March 19, 1967;
Times Literary Supplement, June 15, 1967;
Best Sellers, October 1, 1967;
New Yorker, October 28, 1967;
Books and Bookmen, September, 1969;
Christian Science Monitor, February 26, 1970;
Washington Post, March 27, 1970.
Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2007. Reproduced in Biography
Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale. 2007.
Document Number: H1000004475