book cover of The Wild Cherry Tree

The Wild Cherry Tree

A collection of stories by

First published in 1968, The Wild Cherry Tree is a late collection of ten tales including comic vignettes, a humorous celebration of the sensual life, and several explorations of love, loneliness, and problematic relationships.

'The Wild Cherry Tree' sees the wife of a pig-farmer who dresses like a 'shabby, straddling scarecrow' as she tends her pigs by day, but, alone in the evenings, adorns herself in exotic clothes and jewels without leaving the house. That is until one day, when she has to deal with the consequences.

'Same Time, Same Place' follows an impoverished spinster and a lonely bachelor who become friends, but when he drunkenly and clumsily proposes to her she avoids him, denying herself 'the possibility of friendship with a man who genuinely likes her.'

'The First Day of Christmas' observes a man with his lover on a festive evening out, surrounded by fellow drinkers and full of saucy dialogue, who is torn between asking her hand and burying his grief in drink.

'The Black Magnolia' celebrates the sensual life in a farce involving two voluptuous and liberated women and a repressed, tee-total bachelor.

The bonus story 'A Waddler' is Bates's first published story, and is a village sketch with colourful dialogue. It follows a man as he deals with the death of his overly critical wife, as he is conversely complimented by a fellow widow on carrying his grief so well.


Used availability for H E Bates's The Wild Cherry Tree

Hardback Editions

October 1968 : UK Hardback

Title: Wild Cherry Tree
Author(s): H E Bates
ISBN: 0-7181-0604-0 / 978-0-7181-0604-1 (UK edition)
Publisher: Michael Joseph Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

January 1971 : UK Paperback

Title: The Wild Cherry Tree: Halibut Jones; the Wild Cherry Tree; Some Other Spring; the World Upside-Down; How Vainly Men Themselves Amaze; the First Day of Same Time, Same Place; the Middle of Nowhere
Author(s): H E Bates
ISBN: 0-14-003343-2 / 978-0-14-003343-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: Penguin
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

October 2016 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: The Wild Cherry Tree
Author(s): H E Bates
Publisher: Bloomsbury Reader
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA