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The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady

4.18  ·  Rating Details  ·  859 Ratings  ·  87 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, ou
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published May 1st 2006 by Top That! Publishing (first published 1977)
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The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne FrankA Writer's Diary by Virginia WoolfThe Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath by Sylvia PlathThe Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady by Edith HoldenThe Diary of Frida Kahlo by Frida Kahlo
Women's Journals and Diaries in History
4th out of 231 books — 105 voters
A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There by Aldo LeopoldWalden by Henry David ThoreauA Walk in the Woods by Bill BrysonPilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie DillardDesert Solitaire by Edward Abbey
Best Nature Books
90th out of 423 books — 378 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,917)
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Throughout this year, I have been reading my hard copy of Edith Holden's THE COUNTRY DIARY OF AN EDWARDIAN LADY. None of her books are available on Kindle and I am glad. You need to look at her published album 'in the flesh': feel the smoothness of the pages, notice her handwriting and appreciate, first-hand, her artwork. She was a big fan of birds with their nests and eggs, native plants in bloom, and mushrooms and moss.

Like the format of Ms. Holden's diary, I did not feel rushed. I enjoyed rea
May 06, 2014 Kirstin rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 15, 2012 bookyeti rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 29, 2011 mirba rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
Jun 12, 2008 Ann rated it it was amazing  ·  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: non-fiction, animals
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
Pam Kennedy
Feb 11, 2016 Pam Kennedy marked it as to-read
I just picked up a hard copy of the 1977 edition in beautiful condition at a local antiques shop for 3.00! I am already blown away by its beauty and can't wait to read it I plan to savor it and in a few month read it early in the morning on our new screened porch.
Aug 18, 2014 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, 2014
In 1906, Edith Holden kept a hand-written botanical journal filled with transcribed poems and original paintings. Never intended for publication, it wouldn't be in stores until 70 years later.

It feels like the sort of book you'd find in a gift shop and, indeed, it would make a lovely gift.
Jul 28, 2013 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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:
Literary Mama
Literary Reflections Editor Andrea Lani shares, "I recently picked up a used copy of The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady by Edith B. Holden. The book—a facsimile copy of Holden's 1906 Nature Notes, which was discovered and published in 1977—encompasses a year of Holden's observations about the natural world, nature folklore, and seasonal poems, all exquisitely illustrated in watercolor. Read alone, The Country Diary would be a pleasant tramp through the English countryside, but I happened to ...more
May 20, 2012 Johanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
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.
Apr 02, 2009 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
"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.
Apr 20, 2016 Jodi rated it really liked it
The gorgeous paintings in this charming nature journal are what seized my interest initially. But as I've been skimming the written entries, I've been delighted by other details as well, such as the author's beautiful handwriting (in straight lines! On unlined pages! I fail to accomplish this), carefully transcribed poetry, facts and lore related to each month of the year, and anecdotes of her wanderings in nature and her knowledgeable observations of all she saw. She was an incredibly talented ...more
Nov 11, 2014 Melody rated it it was amazing
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 published.

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
Jun 22, 2014 Carol rated it it was ok
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
Jan 21, 2016 Karen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: natural-history
It's so interesting to read the every day nature notes made by previous generations, especially when they're accompanied by beautiful watercolour illustrations. Edith Holden watched all of nature with an artist's eye and found beauty and fascination in many forms; birds, wild flowers and even dead winter leaves. A wonderful record of Edith's observations for 1906 and very inspiring for anyone thinking about making their own nature diary.
This is such a lovely book. Illustrated by the month they are grown or seen are flowers, plants, birds, and little critters, all hand-drawn. Next to these illustrations are their common names and scientific names, hand-written. Also included is a hand-written monthly diary of information, poems, and nature walks. This book was written in 1906 by Edith Holden when she was a girl. (1982)
Mar 17, 2016 Natalia rated it it was amazing
Потрясающая книга, которая оставляет массу впечатлений как от своего неповторимого стиля а-ля ручная работа, так и от очень приятного и доброго содержания. Я была потрясена красотой рисунков из природы, да и выбор тех же стихов в тему событий очень аккуратный и душевный.

Советую всем любителям природы и легкомысленного чтива. Равнодушным от бумажной копии книги не останется никто.
Mar 13, 2014 Vanessa rated it liked it
Shelves: gardening
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.
May 23, 2015 Mandabplus3 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the book to look through if you would like to begin nature studies or make a nature diary. Full of inspiration and ideas, beautiful pictures, facts, descriptions of the weather and stories of life in nature. It's value as an ideas and inspiration book outway any other use. :)
Jan 31, 2016 Tricia rated it it was amazing
Let's take it month by month, starting this January. Found this treasure on the giveaway shelf at the library. Exquisite. A work of art.
Ellen Johnson
Mar 01, 2016 Ellen Johnson rated it it was amazing
beautiful gorgeous book of observations of nature and drawings and poems, adages, etc. to go with it. all written in calligraphy
Nicole Morgan
So enjoyed the beautiful watercolor paintings and poetry. Wonderful 'coffee table' book to have and flip through.
Jul 28, 2015 Harris rated it it was amazing
Shelves: uk
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
Jan 13, 2010 Sam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 28, 2014 Ruth rated it liked it
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.
Dec 05, 2012 Marilyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Tina Bembry
Gorgeous illustrations, and a wonderful look at a time gone by in nature.
Feb 08, 2016 Jp rated it it was amazing
Aitxo No te quiere
Jul 26, 2015 Aitxo No te quiere rated it really liked it
She's so talented. It's a mix between what she has seen and done relative to nature and the passion that she feels at doing it. I really like it.
Anne Thistlethwaite
Jun 02, 2014 Anne Thistlethwaite rated it it was amazing
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Nature journal 1 3 Jul 24, 2014 01:45PM  
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Edith Blackwell Holden (September 26, 1871 – March 16, 1920) was born at Kings Norton, Worcester, in 1871, one of seven children of a Midlands paint manufacturer. The family lived in the small village of Olton in Warwickshire and it was there that she wrote and illustrated her book, The Country Diary of An Edwardian Lady. After attending art school, she worked as an illustrator, with her drawings ...more
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