The Darling Buds of May (novel)

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The Darling Buds of May
First edition
Author H. E. Bates
Cover artist James Broom-Lynne[1]
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Comedy novel
Publisher Michael Joseph
Publication date
Media type Print (hardback & paperback)
ISBN 0-14-001602-3
Followed by A Breath of French Air

The Darling Buds of May is a novel by British writer H. E. Bates, first published in 1958. It was the first of a series of five novels about the Larkins, a rural family from Kent.

The plot involves Pop, Ma, and Mariette Larkin beguiling Charley, a timid and naive tax inspector, into abandoning his investigations to take up residence on the family farm.

The title of the book is a quote from William Shakespeare's Sonnet 18: Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? / Thou art more lovely and more temperate: / Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, / And summer's lease hath all too short a date; [...]

The novel was loosely adapted into the film The Mating Game in 1959. ITV produced a television series based on the novel and its sequels, The Darling Buds of May, which ran from 1991 to 1993.