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The Nature Notes of an Edwardian Lady by…
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The Nature Notes of an Edwardian Lady

by Edith Holden

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I am not familiar with this author/illustrator, but I do know she has written a Country Diary, which this compilation predates by a year. I admit to being slightly disappointed- having expected a little more... While it does have daily notes, where Holden jotted down the wildflowers and bird species she saw on walks through fields and hedgerows, it's really just like a list. Very few and far between are any actual incidents or descriptions of wildlife behavior. Most of the text is a collection of poems and quotes about the seasons, or flowers, or the beauties of nature. Wordsworth, Longellow, Shakespeare, Tennyson . . . . but I don't read a lot of poetry, especially this type, and personally I did not care for much of it. There are a few interesting tidbits about where the names of the months originated, or special holidays and folklore particular to each season.

What I really like about this book is the artwork. The detailed paintings and drawings of many different types of wildflowers and birds are just lovely. Delicate, lively and carefully done. It's apparent from her notes that Holden carried flowers and foliage home to study and paint from; I wonder if she just had a quick eye or some other means to attain the accuracy of her bird sketches. A few mammals: rabbits, ponies, one fox, but mostly it's birds and some butterflies. They really are very nice.

from the Dogear Diary ( )
  jeane | Jun 13, 2018 |
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Epigraph
"Nature never did betray...
The heart that loved her, tis her privilege
Through all the years of this our life to lead
From joy to joy; for she can so inform
The mind that is within us; so impress
With quietness and beauty; and so feed
With lofty thoughts, that neither evil tongues
Rash judgements, nor the sneers of selfish men
Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all
The dreary intercourse of daily life,
Shall ere prevail against us; or disturb
Our cheerful faith, that all which we behold
Is full of blessings."
Dedication
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This month received its name from the god Janus who had two faces looking in opposite directions, and Macrobius states that it was dedicared to him, because from its' situation, it might be considered retrospective to the past and prospective to the coming year.
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Please do not combine The Nature Notes of an Edwardian Lady (the 1905 predecessor to the The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady) with The Country Diary Nature Notes (a notebook and companion to The Country Diary, with text by Alan C. Jenkins).
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Book description
The Nature Notes of an Edwardian Lady is a newly-discovered predecessor to the phenomenal bestseller The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady. Entitled by Edith Holden simply Nature Notes 1905, this entirely new diary is composed in a similar style to The Country Diary, with Edith Holden's thoughts, anecdotes and writings interspersed with poetry; she records in meticulous detail her personal observations of the nature and wildlife in her native Midlands and on her visits to Devon. Unlike The Country Diary, though, her hand-writing was done only in rough draft and has been set in type in this book to aid legibility.

The book is filled with Edith Holden's exquisite watercolour paintings of flowers, plants, birds and butterflies. There are over 150 new paintings, executed with unsurpassed beauty and charm; many of them show delightful countryside and landscape scenes, including hares, rabbits, squirrels, foxes and other animals which do not appear in The Country Diary.

The Nature Notes of an Edwardian Lady is not only a companion to The Country Diary and a must for all devotees of Edith Holden, but a book that will appeal to all lovers of nature and the countryside. Beautifully evoking the peace and tranquillity of Edwardian England, this book is destined to be a treasured gift for all times and all seasons.
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