Thursday, April 05, 2007

A Country Diary


This year I have been enjoying reading a book called "The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady" by Edith Holden. On the first of each month, I read the verses and enjoy the artwork depicting the month at hand. The contents are inspiring and remind me to take time to enjoy the little things in life; the little things which bring forth authenticity and quiet calm in one's life.

Edith Holden recorded the countryside in which she lived by documenting the change of the seasons and all that was around her. The book, completely written by hand, includes her favorite poems, personal thoughts, and observations of wildlife around her home in Olton, Warwickshire village. Her artist's eye and hand helped her to execute drawings and paintings in great detail. The object of illustrations were things around her --- butterflies, bees, wild flowers, and birds. There's even a page about snakes!

Miss Holden held her book, which was essentially a personal journal, near to her heart and allowed no one to see it. For more than seventy years it remained, hidden away in the shelves of a personal library, until it was discovered again in an English country home. Written in 1906, it was first published in 1977. A full-color replication of her original, this book is one that brings forth an emotional response in the reader and sets the stage for quiet calm and beauty.

April's passages speak of tadpoles and grubs, the Wood Anemone, the Primrose, and the Dog Violet. Her paintings are authentic and so very lovely. If you have opportunity, this book is well-worth having in your personal library. At the very least, check it out from your local lending library so you can read it and see what I am talking about!

"Long as there's a sun that sets
Primroses will have their glory
Long as there are violets
They will have a place in story."


Wordsworth

4 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for sharing about the book you are reading. I'm going to see if I can find one on Amazon! I hope I can, it sounds wonderful. Have a great day, and thanks again!

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  2. Oooh tadpoles! I'd all but forgotten about the long summer afternoons sitting with my sisters and friends at the creek, trying to catch tadpoles, keep them from slipping between our fingers. Now I must read this book. Hope your weekend is blessed. ~Stacey

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  3. Love the violets and the quote. I will check the book out at the library. It sounds really interesting. Gwen

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  4. Edith Holden's Country Diary is a wonderful book, one I've had for many years. There is also one called Nature Notes of An Edwardian Lady which she wrote in 1905, the year before the Country Diary. It's equally lovely and well worth looking for. The BBC mase a series of the Country Doary many years ago and I have that on video, it was filmed in the area wher she lived and the places she visited - I love watching it.

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