Posted by Homan on 21 October 2017

Robin Hanbury Tenison the explorer, who has spent much of his life travelling in the world’s rainforests and deserts and campaigning to protect both them and their people, was brought up, the youngest of five at the family home, Lough Bawn, Ballybay, Co Monaghan. He was educated at Eton and Oxford. He is the Co-founder and President of the charity Survival International and has written numerous travel and exploration books. Drawing on his own experience of an Irish country house childhood, he reviewed ‘Rathcormick’ in ‘Country Life’ (22 April 2004) calling it ‘a moving evocation of an Irish childhood: a sort of familial Akenfield. ‘Homan Potterton conjures with apparent total recall,’ he wrote, ‘the peculiar atmosphere of family life in a big country house in County Meath. With gentle irony and real affection, usually well concealed beneath acute observation of his surroundings from the perspective of a sensitive small boy, he brings to life the milieu he grew up in.For those of us who shared many of his experiences, the pictures he creates of that unique world are sometimes painfully real. Those who come from the various strata of Protestant society in Ireland in the middle of the last century, High Anglo-Irish, prosperous or humble, will recognise something of themselves. Those from other backgrounds have a rare treat in store as they read it: an insight into a life with lessons for us all, where a family tries to understand its ill-assorted members, held together by love but constantly separated by natural differences. By the end I felt I knew hem all. This side of Irish life haas been brilliantly captured in fiction by William Trevor. Now, a true story tells it how it was: the joy and the pain of childhood told this well has universal appeal.’