Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady
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Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  541 ratings  ·  68 reviews
A naturalist's delight, and a record-breaking gift book, back in print! In 1906, Edith Holden recorded in words and images the flora and fauna of the British countryside through the changing seasons.
For 70 years, her enchanting journal lay undiscovered--until 1977, when it was first published with great success (as any bookseller will recall). Now, it is back in print, o
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Paperback, 186 pages
Published 1987 by Sphere (first published 1906)
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bookyeti
Country Diary was originally published in 1906. Is it any wonder that reading this book makes me feel like I'm stepping back in time? One flip of a page and I'm instantly in Edwardian accouterment, sitting in a beautiful field atop a quilt on a breezy summer day, with my pen and journal in hand.

Elegant and absolutely beautiful, this book is a visual banquet that I will continue to enjoy whenever I open its pages! Its amazingly detailed drawings and paintings of nature are coupled with the author...more
Miriam
I think this book it's simply wonderful. The careful drawings, the short notes, the poetry of it.
I loved the splendid elegant writing and everything of it. It's years that I have it, and it never went back in the library. I keep it open on a page of the month I'm in, as a wonderful calendar.
Every time I look at it, I read a couple of phrases in it, it seems like I can taste the love and patience it took to write it. It reminds me to keep my eyes open, to not hurry around in my life, but stop a...more
Ann
Jun 12, 2008 Ann rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those interested in plants and birds and/or beautiful pictures!
Recommended to Ann by: Katie gave it to me! Thanks!
Shelves: animals, non-fiction
This is quite the beautiful book! It's the diary an English girl keeps of the various plants and birds that she finds throughout the year. While this would be far more interesting to someone who knows and has an interest in the subject, it was still interesting for me to read because of the absolutely beautiful drawings she includes, as well as the poems and information about the various months. Also, and this may sound a little strange, but the book smells wonderful! ;D
***

The pictures are beaut...more
Kirstin
This book changed the way I look at the world. I found it years ago, on a table in front of an old church, at a community garage sale.

Edith Holden's nature journal from 1906 with beautiful illustrations, weather lore and field notes.

What I found so interesting was her introduction of each month and the history of the months name. I hadn't known where the name January came from. Had never even thought about it.

This prompted an interest in Roman history, Greek mythology, Egyptian mythology and on...more
Linda
The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady has long been on my bookshelves and has remained a favorite over the years. It is a book I will return to time and again and keep close at hand in order to enjoy the beauty of the author's watercolors and sketches and her thoughts and observations of nature around her.

A couple of other go-along books that would be nice companions:
Nature Notes of The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady - Edith Holden published 1984, there is a 1995 edition
The Edwardian Lady:...more
Elizabeth
"When April blows his horn
Tis good for both hay and corn."

I found this gem of a book while shelving in the 700s this week and promptly checked it out. This nature diary includes Edith Holden's favorite poems, thoughts, and beautiful watercolor paintings. Her words are all hand written and Ms. Holden's love of nature shines throughout her diary- utterly enchanting.
Yonina
The edition I have is one put out for 100 years since Edith Holden illustrated and wrote this wonderful book. Edith Holden wrote the diary after she attended art school
in England. She recorded in paintings and words all the flora and fauna in the British landscape as she traveled throughout England and Scotland. A true naturalist with much talent the diary serves as a guide for nature lovers and artists long after she first published it in 1906.

Well worth reading and perusing by nature lovers an...more
Jane Ellen
This is no diary filled with aristocratic gossip nor scandalous secrets. In a sense, this is the diary of the countryside, as transcribed by Mrs. Holden. Day by day, as she tramps about the English terrain, Mrs. Holden records occasions that thrill her -- flowers blooming, wildlife adventuring, storms howling. The true gems within this book are Mrs. Holden's detailed sketches and paintings of her surroundings. Quite inspirational, especially for nature's lovers and students.
Johanna
Picked this up at one of many charity stores here in England - and subsequently spent the Sunday afternoon with this book in one hand, and a cup of coffee in the other. Wonderful fascimile publishing of Edith Holdens' diary of 1906.
Filled with diary notes of her explorations of the English countryside, as well as wonderful waterpaintings and pieces of poetry. - Lovely.
Melody
My first exposure to The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady came when I was homeschooling my girls and it was love at first sight. Edith Holden made her first diary entry on January 1, 1906; kept her diary a secret and it went undiscovered for 70 years. It was found on the shelves of an English country house and subsequently publishes.

The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady is an enchanting and charming book, so much so that words are not adequate. Each of the entries is beautifully hand written...more
Carol Morgan
Finally read this after years of restarts. the illustrations deserve 5 stars. As a picture book, it's a glorious celebration of nature. In reading it, though, it becomes a little tedious. I suppose that it moves as nature on the author's strolls - at a placid pace, with events unfolding on Nature's timetable. Like looking through someone's scrapbook, the first pages are more interesting than the last. It did resonate with the gardener in me, and that is what kept me plodding through it. The cycl...more
Vanessa
This book is beautiful. The drawings and the prose are great. It is Edith Holden's diary or journal. Not meant to teach how to garden or grow a specific thing...just what did grow and the beauty of it all. Love this book...but not for the reading...for the fact the book is a work of art.
Melissa
This is Edith Holden's private scrapbook which was later published. It contains snippets of famous poetry and quotes as well as Holden's nature observations and drawings.
Spoonbridge
This was a very lovely book filled with art and poetry reflective of one year's seasons and the natural changes that mark them. I began reading this book last January and continued to read in month by month throughout 2009, which put another great dimension in Holden's reflections of the changing of the seasons as I too was experiencing this. As someone with an amateur interest in nature and an enjoyment of journals, Holden's year long journal really added to my consciousness of the seasonal cha...more
Sam
A beautifully written and illustrated book following the changes in Nature through the seasons of 1906. Holden has an obvious passion for nature which comes through not only in her writing but also in the quotes she provides and in the illustrations and painting of the natural world as she finds it. She also provides poems and quotes which accentuate her own work along with interesting facts about each month. A beautiful read that anyone can enjoy whether they have a passion for nature, a passio...more
Ruth
So pretty & sweet. Makes me want to start a nature journal/collage of copied poetry & information about & images of the things I notice every day, just like Edith Holden.
Marilyn
The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady, by Edith Holden, is such a treasure! I bought my first copy of this book, back in 1977. I have since then, bought copies for both of my daughters, and a second copy for myself. I gave my first copy, to a dear friend of mine.

Edith Holden's water colors are beautiful, her knowledge of not just plants, but also birds, etc. is quite impressive. I love her sentiments, as well. If you love spending time admiring nature, and being outdoors, you will love this boo...more
Sandy
Excellent example of a nature journal.
Antoinette
Finally read The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady and glad I did. The book had been on the periphery of my book shopping at used bookstores but not a must-read but then I found it at the Apex Community Center shelves and grabbed it. What a treasure. With the expert illustrations, poetry and diary entries Edith Holden captured 1908 in the English countryside and shared it with the world. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys the natural world.
Kathryn
On my goodness the artwork is so beautiful. This is a diary written and illustrated by Edith Holden in the early 1900s. It solely talks about the weather and the things of nature she finds every day or so, plus an abundance of poetry and quotations. No, I did not read it. After reading the first few pages, I was pretty much lost, but turning each page and looking at all of the wonderful watercolors of what she saw was delightful.
Ralph
This is one of the most charming and delightful books I have ever read. It is a naturalist's minute observations about the flora and fauna in her corner of the UK in 1906 over the course of the year. The day-to-day notes are supplemented by beautiful, highly detailed watercolors. Additionally, it contains observations about folk lore, history and favorite poems. It is very much an antidote against depression and this mechanical age.
 Barb Bailey
This book is really an illustrated journal by an English girl who loves the seasons and nature. Her art work is beautifully done and included is insteresting information about each month of the year and poems.
However it is not much of a diary as you learn very little about her personal life ...only about her wanderings in the countryside. For the art work a 5 rating for the diary a 2.5 . Be your own judge!
Den
I have finally got around to finishing this book. It does feel like you are stepping back in time when you read it but the poetry didn't appeal to me.I know that would have been high on a young ladies pursuits in those days but poetry is not me. The art work is wonderful and I can acknowledge the time she spent producing it but I don't think I will pick it up again so I can't give it more than a 2.
Sherry (sethurner)
I remember looking at Country Diary before I was doing illustrated journals, and it didn't excite me too much. But now that I'm drawing and painting myself, I am intrigued by the watercolors and notes in this book. She draws and paints all the wild plants and animals around her, includes bits of poems, and items from her life. I like a to read a few a day, rather than read it straight through.
Natalie
I am borrowing my mother's copy of this book that she recieved as a gift from her sister back in 1978. It is a beautiful nature diary of a woman who lived in England in the 1900's. Her illustrations are beautiful. It is a window to the past and inspiring. I'm hoping to eventually do nature journaling with my children as a regular part of our homeschool.
Libbeth
At the time I read this book (1982) it seemed as if everyone had it on their coffee table or were using fabrics and papers reminiscent of the illustrations.
I even have some cross stitch patterns taken from the illustrations.
I no longer own the book, or at least if I do I don't know where it is. I wish I could have a flick through it now.
Tsukiko YAMAMURA
A delightful and gentle book bowing to the beauty of Nature. Scattered throughout the pages are luminous watercolours, poems, mottoes and thoughts linked with a very real experience of the countryside Edith Holden observed. It would be incredible if anyone who has perused this volume could not be moved by its sylvan deliciousness.
Phoebe
This is a delicious book to dip into, for its pretty paintings and to-the-point observations of the English countryside. How unconnected we have become as a civilization with the turnings of the seasons, and this book serves to emphasize it. Am delighted to learn there is a biography of Holden. Recommended to Anglophiles and gardeners.
booklady
Got this for dear mother-in-law one year for her birthday. Her favorite comment about books, "I'm very visual; I like to look at the pictures," seemed to fit this book. You certainly can read the text. It's excellent! However, if your tastes run to the visual, this book is a visual and literary feast. Highly recommended!
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Edith Blackwell Holden (September 26, 1871 – March 15, 1920) was a British artist and art teacher. She was born in Moseley, Birmingham. She became famous following the posthumous publication of her Nature Notes for 1906, in facsimile form, as the book The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady in 1977, which was an enormous publishing success, frequently given as a gift. These, and her life story, wer...more
More about Edith Holden...
The Nature Notes of an Edwardian Lady Vom Glück mit der Natur zu leben. Learn to Draw Nature in the Style of the Edwardian Lady Nature Notes for 1906 Country Diary Book of Days

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