The H E Bates Collection is mainly located at Rushden Library. It includes books, articles, manuscripts and newscuttings by and about Bates. There is also a collection of letters written by Bates, mainly to Joseph Braddock, which is located in Northamptonshire Central library.

Herbert Ernest Bates was born in Rushden on 16 May 1905. He was educated at Kettering Grammar School and left at the age of 16 to become a reporter with the Northampton Chronicle. After a short while he left to work as a warehouse clerk, which gave him more time to write. His first novel Two Sisters was published in 1926. In 1931 he married Marjorie Helen Cox and moved to the Old Granary, Little Chart in Kent. During the Second World War Bates served as writer for the RAF and afterwards became known for his popular poetry, plays, novels, essays and childrens books. His best known work is the Larkin Family trilogy, including the Darling Buds of May, recently made into a TV series.

H E Bates was awarded the CBE in 1973 and died in January 1974.

In addition to the items listed on this site, you can also search the Northamptonshire Libraries and Information Services online catalogue for books by and about H E Bates.