27. W. H. Hudson in Hampshire

27. W. H. Hudson in Hampshire
Hampshire Papers 27: W. H. Hudson in Hampshire
by Brian Tippett (2004)

This papers explores the Hampshire writings of Argentinian-born author and naturalist W. H. Hudson (1841-1922). Hudson, considered as a leading prose stylist of his day by contemporaries such as Joseph Conrad and Ford Madox Ford, is best remembered for classics such as Green Mansions, Far Away and Long Ago and A Shepherd's Life.

He came to England in 1874 at the age of 33, apparently in the hope of a career as an ornithologist, and endured many years of poverty in London as he tried to make headway as a writer. Whenever possible he travelled to other parts of the country, including Hampshire, and began to develop an expert knowledge of British birds and the English countryside. He had a particular regard for the New Forest, Selborne (Gilbert White had inspired him as a boy) and indeed the whole of rural Hampshire, and over the course of two or three years, from 1900 to 1903, spent much of his time exploring the county. The outcome was Hampshire Days, one of his most notable books, and a group of related works. Even A Shepherd's Life, which is about Wiltshire, originated in Hampshire.

The paper includes a brief but detailed overview of Hudson's life and literary career and introduces an examination of his Hampshire writings. Use has been made of Hudson's published and unpublished letters to show how his works arose from his explorations of the county. Throughout the paper his role as an environmental critic and campaigner is emphasised as one of his most important legacies to the modern world.

Physical description 295mm x 210mm; softback; 32 pages.
Published in 2004 by Hampshire County Council
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