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Green Mansions by W. H. Hudson

Green Mansions (1904)

by W. H. Hudson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,333188,461 (3.7)103
  1. 00
    Green phoenix by Thomas Burnett Swann (Hermester)
    Hermester: Like most of Swann's work, Green Mansions explores the interactions of a lost race of mythical beings with humanity. What sets them apart from the work of authors such as Burroughs, Howard, and Doyle, however, is their evocative lyrical prose, and their sense that as civilization has progressed, it has cast aside what is best in life.… (more)
  2. 00
    The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope (atimco)
    atimco: Both are stories of a young man thrown into a foreign culture and forced to survive on his wits. And the love stories both don't have the typical happy ending.
  3. 00
    Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore (atimco)
    atimco: The romantic relationships are very similar in these two books, and both are told in the first person by the man.
  4. 00
    The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle (chrisharpe)
  5. 01
    Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock (bertilak)
    bertilak: Contrast Hudson's romanticized handling of the 'wild girl in the woods' theme with Holdstock's raw version.

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» See also 103 mentions

English (17)  Spanish (1)  All languages (18)
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Mr. Abel, a socially prominent figure in Georgetown, Guyana, tells his best friend, a recent American? British? Canadian? arrival, the secret of certain events in his life before his own arrival in Georgetown from Venezuela.

I spent the whole book waiting for some big reveal to occur and for the REAL story to get started. It didn't. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Mar 11, 2017 |
Great story, wonderfully told. Simply a classic. Action, adventure, romance - it has it all. ( )
1 vote dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
Abel leaves the city in Venezuela to live in the forest with a native tribe. They refuse to enter a nearby wood because of a mysterious girl who lives there. Able gives no heed to their superstitions, and spends a lot of time in the wood, eventually meeting Rima and her grandfather. Rima and Abel fall in love, he moves in with them, and they take a journey to the region where Rima’s ancestors are from. There’s a whole lot in between all that, but that’s the basic plot.

I wasn’t really impressed with this book at all. It’s not bad, but it’s just so simple, almost as if it were written to be a movie instead of a fully-developed novel. Also, I know it was written a hundred years ago, but the stereotyping of the natives by the white men was really obnoxious, and by the last paragraph the author is really shoving his personal message down your throat. I’m still trying to figure out why this was on my list of classic books. ( )
  AmandaL. | Jan 16, 2016 |
Green Mansions is a sort of fantasy romance set in the jungles of South America. The author, W. H. Hudson, was a naturalist early in his life, doing research in the flora and fauna of the frontier near his birthplace in Argentina. His parents were British and Irish. After he settled in England in 1874, he began organizing and reporting on his research findings. He also wrote a number of books reporting on and extolling the English countryside.

His background as a naturalist is evident throughout Green Mansions, as he describes the terrain and flora of his jungle setting, as well as its birds and wildlife.

The story revolves around the wanderings of Abel de Argensola, a Venezuelan. When a plot against the government, of which he is a part, is thwarted, he slips into the jungle, ostensibly to document the flora and fauna, as well as the culture of the Indians, but really to avoid retribution. Travelling alone, Abel meets Indians, wins their trust, and is soon sharing life with them. He learns that a particular area of the jungle is strictly avoided by the Indians because it home to and guarded by "the daughter of Didi," a mystical girl who speaks to the birds and animals in a lilting, musical voice. Two Indians, hunting together in that jungle, saw this creature, and one shot a poison dart at her. It hit his companion, killing him. The shooter swore the creature caught the dart and threw it back at the hunters. Hence, the Indians fear her powers and stay clear of "her turf."

Abel, of course, ventures boldly into that jungle, hears and sees the creature and is enchanted. Before too long, he actually meets her, learns her name—Rima—and meets her "grandfather," an elderly, white-bearded Venezuelan named Nuflo. The time Abel spends in Rima's forest riles the Indians, who now distrust him.

Rima speaks repeatedly of her mother and the region where she died. To win her favor, Abel persuades Nuflo to lead him and Rima back to the mountain where he rescued the pregnant mother. After the rescue, Nuflo had carried her to a village with a priest, where Rima was born. The mother, who is never named, cares for her daughter and teaches her to communicate with the birds and beasts. Ultimately, she fades and dies. Nuflo and Rima travel to the area in which Abel has found them. With Nuflo persuaded, the arduous trek is made. In their absence, the Indians discover they can hunt with impunity in the forbidden forest.

And it's downhill from there.

Green Mansions is very much a book of its time—1904. The patient pace, the flowery descriptions, the slow, drawn out dialogue. To me, it started slowly, built up some momentum, than tailed deliberately to a conclusion. I read it a long time ago (like 50 years) and got caught up in the mystical Rima. To an old coot, Rima doesn't have the same appeal. I still liked it, but… Give it three.
1 vote weird_O | Jun 24, 2015 |
I read this ages ago (it was published even more ages ago}, I enjoyed the fantasy story line but when the author decided that the heroine must be of European decent to be beautiful it totally turned my stomach. His portrayal of the indigenous women was quite... forgive me but I cannot find the right word.

A side note: I picked this up because I'm a fan of Van Morrison and I read somewhere that he based his song "Green Mansions" on this book. I sure hope not. I have never quite enjoyed the song again. ( )
  Jolynne | Jul 4, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (64 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
W. H. Hudsonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Baker, CarlosIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beckett, SheilahIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Galsworthy, JohnForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Galsworthy, John, SirForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Henderson, KeithIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kauffer, E. McKnightIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, Edward ArthurIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It is a cause of very great regret to me that this task has taken so much longer a time than I had expected for its completion.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0486259935, Paperback)

Modern classic tells the compelling story of Rima, a strange birdlike girl of the jungle, and Abel, the European who falls in love with her. The book owes much of its popularity to the mystic, near-religious feeling that pervades the story and the beauty of Rima's halting, poetic expressions.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:14 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Abel, a poet and political exile, arrives at a savage village in South America where he becomes a naturalist, and there in the forest he falls in love with a mysterious girl.

» see all 7 descriptions

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