Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Country Diary Of An Edwardian Lady

After becoming interested in the wildflowers here in the canyon and those that my blogger friends find and document with such gorgeous photos on their nature walks, I recalled how much I have loved Edith Holden's book, The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady, since I first read it in the early 1980s.
Edith called her book Nature Notes for 1906 and in it she documents, with text and exquisite paintings, her walks in the English countryside.
Looking up the month of May, I see she is also quoting poets (Spenser and Wordsworth here). Among the flowers above are Red Campion and Wild Hyacinth.
Turning the page, the entry for May 12, 1906, reads: Went to Stratford on Avon and walked to Shottery across the meadows. On the way I gathered Hawthtorn blossom from the hedges and saw fields yellow with Buttercups and banks of blue Speedwell. The Dandelions were a wonderful sight along the railway cutting. Included among he flowers on the right are Meadow Buttercup, Large Flowerd Bitter Cress, and Yellow Weasel Snout (what a descriptive name for a flower).

The paperback Diary was published by Owl Books/Holt, Rinehart and Winston in 1982 and is available on http://www.amazon.com/
I liked Edith Holden so much at the time that I bought her biography by Ina Taylor.
Inside this book there are many, many lovely drawings, paintings, even Christmas cards by Edit and also paintings by her sister Evelyn, as well as many photographs of her family and the villages where they lived.

This is a quote from the back of the Diary: Edith Holden was born in Worcester, England in 1871. Her family lived in the small village of Olton, and it was there that she wrote and illustrated this book. She later moved to London, where she met and married Ernest Smith, a sculptor. In March 1920, Edith died tragically by drowning in the Thames, while gathering buds from chestnut trees.

I can't help but think that Edith would have enjoyd a walk in our canyon and would have loved to draw and paint the wildflowers that grow in these parts of the world, so different from her own.

Thanks for visiting and if you decide to buy the Diary, I can assure you that you will enjoy being transported to a different, gentler, time and place.


  1. Oh, how cool is that? It looks like a lovely book that one could look at over and over. Definitely from a gentler time!

  2. Amazon.com, here I come. Thank you very much for introducing us to this wonderful lady.

  3. I bet she would have loved to have strolled through your canyon.

  4. I haven't thought about that book in years. I might just invest in a copy.

    Our dandelions have almost finished flowering and have gone over to "mr time" seedheads. At this point I may have to dig a few out as they spread like wildfire lol!

    Shirl x

  5. Oh what a beautiful book with all these drawings!
    I would like to have that :-)

    On my blogg I have some pictures for you of "vitsippor".....I don't remember the english word for it. "Anemone" something perhaps?

    // Lisbeth

  6. Love the book report, the photos of the pages posted so lovely. How are you feeling? recovering from your fall? Please keep us posted on your progress. Miss your blogs.

  7. Good grief, where is everyone?

    I see you have google translate, does it work fairly well?

    I hope all is well with you! Hugs for the dogs!



Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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