The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady
Published by Kudos
Distributed by Bookwise
More than 3 million copies of this best-seller have been printed in 13 languages since it was first posthumously published in 1977.
Schoolteacher-turned-illustrator Edith Holden’s Nature Notes of 1906, the source for this book, are said to have been executed as examples for her pupils and discovered by chance.
The charming drawings, paintings, poems and month-by-month observations record the glories of her Warwickshire countryside, as well as travels throughout England and Scotland. Most of the watercolours are botanical, but there’s other subject matter: a finely painted shrew; a ploughman and draughthorses; bees and butterflies.
Much of the book’s charm lies in the unembellished writing. Here’s a sample of the entry for May, 1906: “The hedge-rows are haunted by young fledglings, chiefly blackbirds and thrushes. I saw one precocious young robin trying to capture a worm nearly three times as long as itself.”
Tragically, the author met her death by drowning, falling into a backwater of the Thames while on one of her rambles.
Her reminder of a gentler age lives on in this edition, embossed with a gold seal to commemorate the centenary of its creation.
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH