A Hermit Disclosed

Raleigh Trevelyan
Date Published
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‘The hermit disclosed by Mr. Trevelyan, in his very unusual and entertaining book, is James (Jimmy) Mason of Great Canfield, in the Rodings section of Essex, who died on January 17, 1942. He had at that time lived in a shed in a field cut off from intercourse with all but a handful of people for a disputed number of years, probably nearly fifty, and had been a recluse since 1882. [A Hermit Disclosed] offers an ironic-sympathetic insight into a very ordinary but little-known group of the community…But perhaps it is most fascinating as a chronicle of the growing obsession of a very enlightened, individual person, the author, with the life of a nearly illiterate, insanely individualistic obsessionist… In the final resort we have a document both of psychology and social history; and we have a great deal of fun.’ Angus Wilson

‘A splendid book.’ John Betjeman

‘A classic.’ Elizabeth Maver

‘Completely absorbing.’ Saturday Review


Raleigh Trevelyan is a writer and editor. Born in the Andaman Islands in 1923, he moved to Britain when he was eight. His classic The Fortress was published in 1956; among his other books are Rome ’44, The Golden Oriole and a study of his ancestor, Sir Walter Raleigh. He lives in London and Cornwall.

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