Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady

I stumbled upon this book by chance at Kurume city library, having heard about it years ago on a TV show about important books from the 1970s. Whilst TCDOAEL was indeed published in 1977, it had been written and drawn in 1906, by the naturalist, Elizabeth Holden.

Reading it was a little like how I imagine talking to my great-great grandmother would have been. Holden talks about the flora and fauna of the British Isles with such delicacy and familiarity that it immediately struck home how far we have slumped in our understanding of what is around us. Her diary is a touching, beautiful fragment of a past existence. Almost nothing of that existence remains. If Miss Holden were here now, would she feel disappointed?

Yes, I think she would.


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