Sunday, April 08, 2018

Protecting personal information

General Data Protection Regulation (effective 25th May 2018)

Audit of data held by the Richard Jefferies Society.

This document has been prepared and is held by Jean Saunders, the Honorary Secretary of the Richard Jefferies Society, who is the Data Controller and Data Processor as identified in the GDPR. It outlines how data is processed and what it is used for.

The Richard Jefferies Society was established in 1950 and has members in all parts of the world. It is a registered charity (no. 1042838) managed by an Executive Council of volunteers.The Objects of the Society are:
o   To promote interest in, and respect for the life and works of Richard Jefferies.
o   To hold meetings of its members and others, at which lectures may be given bearing on the life, work and times of Richard Jefferies.
o   To maintain a collection of and help make available to members copies of the works of Richard Jefferies and associated literature.
o   To monitor and protect as far as possible the buildings and countryside associated with Richard Jefferies.
o   To provide members with news and information about Richard Jefferies by means of a newsletter and journal.

A database is necessary to service our members with information, news and other publications. Members pay an annual subscription, due on 1 July, unless they have registered for Life Membership or if they have been granted Honorary Membership status.  Membership can be taken out by individuals, organisations or companies and a joint membership can be applied to two people at the same address.

Information about members is provided by the subscriber when he or she joins the Society. Full records are held on a card index system. This card denotes the title/s of the member, name/s and postal address. Telephone numbers and email addresses are recorded if this information has been provided by the member. The index card also records a unique membership number provided by the data controller, the date when the member joined the RJS and records of annual subscriptions and donations - the amount paid, date of payment, process of payment, and whether Gift-Aided. In some records, notes are added - for example, if a member is related to Richard Jefferies. Life Members have to be over 60 to take out life membership, and the date of birth is recorded where appropriate. For Joint membership, should a member die, this information is noted on the card and the same card is still used to record information about the living member. The cards are updated with new information provided by the Member (eg change of address etc) and when the index card is full, another card is stapled to the original. Should the member resign or die or fail to pay their annual membership fee, their index card is removed and held in the archives. If members fail to respond to reminders to pay annual subscriptions six months after the due date, the membership is deemed terminated and the record card placed in the archives. 

An annual record of all membership is held electronically on a Microsoft spreadsheet. This is used to record the member's name, address, date of payment of subscription, amount paid,  donation given, whether gift-aided and any special note particular to the individual. For example if the member has paid for future years in advance. These records identify quickly which members require any reminder to be sent if the membership is unpaid and provide easy access to receipts for accountancy purposes. These spreadsheets are retained in the archives in both printed and electronic form. 

In order to communicate with our members, this procedure is predominantly carried out on a mass basis with the circulation of a Spring and Autumn newsletter, an Annual Report and a Journal. An annual mailing list is maintained electronically that is used to print off names and addresses of members on envelopes or address labels and updated every membership year. This document is held as a Word document and retained as an archive electronically.

Membership annual renewal forms are circulated with main mailings. If members fail to renew their subscriptions, reminders are sent to members mainly by post or are emailed (where appropriate) individually to the person concerned.

Members are rarely contacted by telephone or email unless that person has contacted us for a specific enquiry.

The RJS Executive Council meets three times a year and relies mainly on email to communicate. Changes to procedures are underway to protect the personal data of Executive Council members.

The RJS no longer maintains an e-group for members who wished to be informed about updated news by email. A Facebook page was set up by one of our Executive Council members and news items are placed there. It is a private page and subscribers must "join" to read the contents. It has its own "membership" and the majority of subscribers are not paper members of the Society. The Facebook page is not used for data processing purposes.

The RJS has a website (I am also the webmaster) and my home address is provided for contact along with a dedicated email address for people to make contact. We do not make use of cookies apart from one that sends weekly reports of the number of visitors to the site. This information is merely of minor interest to me and the results are not kept. There are links to a blogspot facility, flickr page,  Paypal (for membership payments) and books can be purchased via freewebstore.  We have no control over cookies used by third parties.

Any email or telephone inquiries from non-members are dealt with as appropriate. No personal information about the inquirer is stored on a database or shared with others without their permission.

Annual book sales records are kept for accounting purposes only.

The RJS does not share any data with third parties apart from printed records that are sent annually to our duly appointed Examiner of Accounts.

There is a privacy statement on our website as follows:

Richard Jefferies Society Privacy Statement

What are cookies? ‘Cookies’ are small text files that are stored by the browser (e.g. Internet Explorer or Safari) on your computer or mobile phone. They allow websites to store such things as user preferences. You can think of cookies as providing a “memory” for the website, enabling it to recognise a user and respond appropriately.

Anonymous analytics cookies - Every time a user visits our website, web analytics software provided by a third party generates an anonymous analytics cookie. These cookies tell us how many users visit the site each day. These cookies cannot be used to identify individuals or personal information.

Personal information will only be collected when you email the Richard Jefferies Society. Where you voluntarily choose to give us your personal details, it will be used exclusively for providing you with information or services you have requested.

Other third party cookies - On some links, third parties may also set their own anonymous cookies, for the purposes of tracking the success of their application, or customising the application for you. Because of how cookies work, we cannot access these cookies, nor can the third parties access the data in cookies used by this website.

How do I turn cookies off? You can restrict or block cookies through your browser settings. The Help function within your browser should tell you how. Alternatively, visit For information on how to do this on your mobile phone, refer to your manual.

In accordance with the GDPR we are in the process of collecting permissions from Members. The following notice is about to be circulated to all members on our database.


General Data Protection Regulation (effective 25th May 2018)

The Richard Jefferies Society is required by new law to obtain members’ specific permission to hold their contact details on a database. We use this information for the purpose of communicating with our membership, and for sending out mailings.

The information we hold was supplied by you as part of your membership subscription. It lists your name/s and address and, where provided, your telephone number and email address (see below*). The information on the database will never be divulged to a third party without a member’s individual permission. 

We must receive your permission to hold and to use the information as outlined above. We cannot communicate with you without your written permission to do so and we are not allowed to assume you agree if you do not reply. To do otherwise will mean we would be breaking the law. Permission would extend to any updated contact details provided by you in the future and will lapse when you are no longer a member. You can withdraw consent ay any time.

Please sign, date and return this complete notice to the Hon. Sec. as soon as possible. 

[* Section used to provide member's  names, addresses, telephone number and email addresses held on record by the RJS]

I/we give permission for the Richard Jefferies Society to hold and to use my/our contact details as outlined in this notice. (For joint membership, both members should sign please.) 

Signature(s)         _          _          _          _          _          _          _           _         
                  _          _          _          _          _          _          _          _          _

Date ....................................................

Jean Saunders
Honorary Secretary
Richard Jefferies Society

8 April 2018

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Readings from Richard Jefferies and Alfred Williams

On Saturday 7th April members of the Richard Jefferies Society and the Friends of Alfred Williams meet up to share readings of both writers at the Richard Jefferies Museum, Marlborough Road, Coate, Swindon SN3 6AA.

The event starts promptly at 2.00pm, is open to public and free to attend.

The Friends are hosting the gathering this year.

Select a short extract to read to others by or about Richard Jefferies or Alfred Williams or just come along to listen.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Celebrating Richard Jefferies early years at Coate

6 November 2017 marks almost 170 years since the day that Richard Jefferies was born on the family farm at Coate (now part of Swindon). The Richard Jefferies Society [1] is celebrating the occasion with a public meeting [2] to be held at Liddington Village Hall on Saturday 4 November starting at 2.30pm and the publication of the first volume of a new biography [3] of Richard Jefferies that covers his early years living in the Coate area – a time that inspired his writing and which provided his first job as a reporter on the local paper. 

Richard Jefferies (1848-1887) is, undoubtedly, the purest and most sensitive, certainly the most passionate, nature writer produced by a country that has always prided itself on the strength of her nature tradition. In his short life he produced an astonishingly rich and varied body of work [4].

Wrote his biographer, the future poet Edward Thomas:

No one English writer before had had such a wide knowledge of labourers, farmers, gamekeepers, poachers, of the fields, and woods, and waters, and the sky above them, by day and night... When he wrote these books—The Amateur Poacher and its companions—he had no rival, nor have they since been equalled in purity, abundance, and rusticity.

Since Thomas’s now classic Richard Jefferies, His Life and Works was published in 1909, a vast amount of material has come to light, and a new biography of Jefferies has been long overdue.  A Peculiarly English Genius: or a Wiltshire Taoist, a Biography of Richard Jefferies, by Andrew Rossabi [5] is the first of three volumes and takes in the years from 1848 to 1867 when such places as Coate Water, Liddington Hill and the Marlborough Downs inspired the young man to write fiction and non-fiction that had a strong autobiographical content. It is also the time when he contracted tuberculosis that killed him at the age of 38.

Andrew Rossabi said

The present biography will extend to three volumes. Whether Jefferies’ is worthy of, or best served by, a book of such length and detail is another matter. I believe he is, although the reader will quickly discover that I am far from being an uncritical admirer.

The hardback book published by the Richard Jefferies Society runs to 800 pages and contains over 30 illustrations. It will be launched at the Liddington Village Hall meeting which is open to the public and free to attend.


 [1] The Richard Jefferies Society (Registered Charity No 1042838) was founded in Swindon in 1950 to promote appreciation and study of the writings of Richard Jefferies.

 [3] A Peculiarly English Genius: or a Wiltshire Taoist, a Biography of Richard Jefferies, Vol I - The Early Years, 1848-1867 by Andrew Rossabi. (Foulsham: Petton Books, 6 November 2017), 800pp. £40. The critic and scholar Q.D. Leavis (1906-1981) was a great admirer of the works of Richard Jefferies. She wrote ‘Jefferies was a many-sided and comprehensive genius, not merely a peculiarly English genius but one whose interests, ideas, and temperament associate him with other peculiarly English geniuses’ (Scrutiny,  March 1938) – hence the main title of the biography. 

[4] Jefferies wrote as much about people as about wild life, and his series of country books, based on the Coate area, The Gamekeeper at Home (1878), Wild Life in a Southern Country (1879), The Amateur Poacher (1879), Round About a Great Estate (1880), which the critic Q.D. Leavis called ‘one of the most delightful books in the English language’, and Hodge and His Masters (1880), are an unrivalled source for the social history of late Victorian rural England.  Jefferies wrote two children’s books that have become classics, Wood Magic (1881) and Bevis (1882), and a short volume of spiritual biography, The Story of My Heart (1883), saluted by William James as 'Jefferies wonderful mystic rhapsody’.   He wrote five novels of permanent worth including The Dewy Morn (1884), which Mrs Leavis described as ‘one of the few real novels between Wuthering Heights and Sons and Lovers’; After London (1885), a futurist romance much admired by William Morris; and Amaryllis at the Fair (1887), to make room for which the critic Edward Garnett said he would turn out several highly-regarded novels by Thomas Hardy. Jefferies’ many gifts perhaps found perfection in his essays, collected in Nature Near London (1883), The Life of the Fields (1884), The Open Air (1885) and Field and Hedgerow (1889).  

[5] Andrew Rossabi is President of the Richard Jefferies Society, and has written introductions to reissues of several works by Jefferies. A resident of London for many years, he has alternated a career in publishing (he edited Cyril Connolly’s last collection of reviews The Evening Colonnade and J.G. Ballard’s controversial novel Crash) with teaching classics part-time at Highgate School.

Andrew Rossabi

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Birthday Lecture 4 November 2017

Roger Ebbatson writes: My talk will endeavour to offer a comparative juxtaposition of selected writings by Jefferies and Hardy dealing both with the social and agrarian issues experienced by the workfolk during the Great Depression and, in a countervailing movement, with the more inward personal experience of spiritual aspiration and an intuitive sense of ‘the Beyond’. The focus will be on The Dewy Morn, set in comparison and contradistinction with Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles. Whilst Jefferies, in his final essays, moves away from social issues towards a more inward and transcendental mode of thought, in Tess of the d’Urbervilles in a countervailing movement the heroine’s innate spirituality is progressively negated and undermined by her life-experiences, her rape/seduction and subsequent marital abandonment leading her towards the culminating communal immiseration of the field-workers at Flintcomb-Ash, followed by her arrest at Stonehenge and subsequent execution. The social consciousness exhibited, for instance, in Jefferies’ ‘The Wiltshire Labourer’ or ‘After the County Franchise’ is also powerfully articulated in the final tragic stages of Hardy’s novel, both writers’ diagnosis chiming with the Marxian account of change in the Victorian countryside, whilst Jefferies’ more mystical final phase, which is not echoed in Hardy, may be more productively framed by reference to the Heideggerian concept of ‘the Open’.

Roger Ebbatson is Visiting Professor at Lancaster University, a Fellow of the English Association, and a Vice-President of the Tennyson Society. He has written extensively on Richard Jefferies, beginning with Lawrence & the Nature Tradition (1980), and subsequently in An Imaginary England (2005), Heidegger’s Bicycle (2006), Landscape & Literature (2013), and most recently, Landscapes of Eternal Return (2016) that will be reviewed in the next RJS Journal (Summer 2018)

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Tour of Broadwater Cemetery - August 2017

Michael Parrott reported that there were 86 members of the public at the 5 August tour at Broadwater Cemetery, Worthing. The only vandals are the grass-cutting contractors who have taken out a couple of chips of marble from the kerb stone of Jefferies’ grave and also have damaged memorial trees with strimmers. The Friends of Broadwater Cemetery have lodged a complaint and this is being taken seriously by the council. They should too - the Jefferies’ grave is a Grade II listed building. The memorial garden wild flowers are going over now; there are still geraniums and mallows low down in the grass. The memorial mulberry tree leaves are a bit spotty and most of the fruit was battered down by recent heavy rain. The photographs are supplied by Mr Parrott. 

Richard Jefferies' grave tended by Michael Parrott

Jefferies-Hudson Memorial Garden with bench supplied by the Richard Jefferies Society 

Entrance to Broadwater Cemetery

Monday, June 05, 2017


From the left: Angus Maclennan, John Price and Richard Fortey
The Richard Jefferies Society and The White Horse Bookshop Writer's Prize has been awarded to British palaeontologist, natural historian, writer and broadcaster Richard Fortey for The Wood for the Trees (William Collins). From a short list of five, the panel judged that the book best met the criterion of reflecting themes or topics broadly consistent with Jefferies’ writing.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Connections and Inspirations: the Influence of Richard Jefferies on Writers and Poets


SATURDAY 24 June 2017

Connections and Inspirations: the Influence of Richard Jefferies on Writers and Poets

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Birthday Lecture 5 Nov 2016