W. H. Hudson

Easton Press W. H. Hudson books

Green Mansions: A Romance of the Tropical Forest - The Collector's Library of Famous Editions - 1972

W. H. Hudson biography

W. H. Hudson, or William Henry Hudson, was a prolific writer and naturalist born on August 4, 1841, in Quilmes, near Buenos Aires, Argentina. His childhood was marked by the vast landscapes of the Argentine pampas, where he developed a deep love and fascination for nature and wildlife. The son of American settlers, Hudson grew up fluent in both English and Spanish.

Hudson's early life was not without challenges. His family faced financial difficulties, and he experienced the hardships of living on the frontier. Despite these obstacles, his passion for the natural world only intensified. He spent countless hours observing the diverse flora and fauna of the region, developing a keen eye for the intricate details of the environment around him.

In 1869, Hudson published his first book, The Purple Land That England Lost, a novel that drew inspiration from his experiences in South America. However, it was his later works focused on nature and ornithology that brought him widespread acclaim. His masterpiece, "Green Mansions," published in 1904, is a romantic and mystical tale set in the Venezuelan jungle. The novel combines elements of adventure, love, and a deep connection to the natural world.

Hudson's literary contributions extended beyond fiction. He wrote numerous essays and articles on ornithology, ecology, and the need for conservation. His works were instrumental in raising awareness about the importance of preserving natural habitats and understanding the delicate balance of ecosystems.

As a naturalist, Hudson's observations were not limited to his writings. He undertook extensive travels, including a return to England, where he settled in 1874. He became an active member of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the fledgling back-to-nature movement. Hudson's advocacy for environmental conservation and his ability to weave scientific insights into engaging narratives left a lasting impact on both literary and ecological circles.

W. H. Hudson continued to write and explore the wonders of the natural world until his death on August 18, 1922, in London. His legacy endures not only through his literary contributions but also through the seeds of environmental consciousness he planted during a time when the importance of preserving the natural world was not as widely recognized.

Green Mansions - A Romance of the Tropical Forest

A failed revolutionary attempt drives the hero of Hudson's novel to seek refuge in the primeval forests of south-western Venezuela. There, in the 'green mansions' of the title, Abel encounters the wood-nymph Rima, the last survivor of a mysterious aboriginal race. The love that flowers between them is soon overshadowed by cruelty and sorrow... One of the acknowledged masters of natural history writing, W. H. Hudson forms an important link between nineteenth-century Romanticism and the twentieth-century ecological movement.

The curious call of an unseen bird lures a young European explorer deeper and deeper into the jungle, where he encounters the source of the siren song a lovely, half-wild girl with mysterious powers. Thus begins the romance between Abel, a revolutionary hiding among an Indian tribe in the Venezuelan rainforest, and Rima, who speaks the languages of birds and longs to return to the land of her birth to be reunited with others of her kind.

First published in 1904 and a bestseller after its reissue a dozen years later, Green Mansions offers its readers a poignant meditation on the loss of wilderness, the dream of a return to nature, and the bitter reality of the encounter between savage and civilized man.

Written by a British naturalist with a deep love and knowledge of wilderness areas, the richly colored tale transports readers to the lush atmosphere of the Amazonian outback. Originally published in 1904, this haunting classic offers a narrative of lyric beauty as well as a fascinating link between nineteenth-century Romanticism and modern environmentalism.

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