On 21 March Orion will reissue Geoffrey Household’s Rogue Male as part of a comprehensive reissue programme of 33 of his works. Here Robert Macfarlane, acclaimed author of The Wild Places and The Old Ways, explains why Geoffrey Household’s classic thriller holds such appeal for him.
I have for several years been quietly (and very intermittently) lobbying to get a new edition of Geoffrey Household’s Rogue Male reissued, for which I was keen to write a passionate Introduction.
Household has been, in his odd way, at the heart of my writing for years now. And people are making, well, pilgrimages to the holloway (I’ve met or been written to by many of them), following in the footsteps of Household. There’s a buzz rising again around Rogue Male to add to its status as long-term latent classic.
Orion are now reissuing the book, and I was delighted to write the Introduction. I’ve written a lot of introductions over the past decade or so, all to books about which I feel passionate. My interest in Household, his novels (Rogue Male in particular) and his landscapes hasn’t waned.
Indeed, in the Introduction I have covered its cult status, my own relationship and history with it, my visits to its landscapes, my tracking of Household’s hero, Household himself, the book’s qualities and histories and interests, why it compels (and survives) and why it is still read – and still should be read – now, more than seventy years after it was first published.