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John Moore (1907-67) was brought up in Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire, in the oak-beamed Tudor House, 'the loveliest house in Elmbury' (his name for Tewkesbury in a later trilogy of books about it). Literature and the natural world were his focus but, aged 16, he went in to the family business. 'From the clients of a country auctioneer he received an education more liberal than that offered by most universities' (the writer Eric Linklater). He wrote poems and articles, published his first novel at the age of 23 and an excellent life of Edward Thomas in 1939. He joined the Fleet Air Arm and later wrote several books on aspects of the war. The trilogy Portrait of Elmbury came out in the 1940s. Very active in local life, he founded the Cheltenham Festival of Literature. The Waters under the Earth (1965) was the last of his forty books.