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Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady

4.2  ·  Rating details ·  1,051 Ratings  ·  101 Reviews
On 1st January 1906, Edith Holden made the first entry in a diary which was to record the countryside through the changing seasons of that year. It was initially written to encourage her pupils at Solihull school to learn more about nature.
Paperback, 186 pages
Published 1987 by Sphere (first published 1977)
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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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Mar 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The diary itself got repetitive and dull, so I actually started skimming through it very early on.

The rating is mostly due to the stunning, colorful and vivid watercolor illustrations.
Feb 05, 2008 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
Apr 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Pam Kennedy
Feb 11, 2016 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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.
Gorgeous. Inspiring. So glad it was found and published and republished. I wish there were more journals like this. Note to self to explore further. The art! The weather and nature descriptions. So real and wonderful.
Oct 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a gorgeous book! It was on the monthly library display and I couldn't resist. This illustrated diary sat in an English cottage for 70 years before being discovered and eventually published. I was mesmerized by her lists of plant and animal sightings, transcribed poetry and quotes, as well as her gorgeous sketches and watercolors. This book got me thinking about social media and how I feel compelled to share so much of what I love. In contrast, it seems Edith compiled this information for he ...more
Jul 28, 2013 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:
May 20, 2012 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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"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.
Oct 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
one of the loveliest books I have ever had the pleasure to read or own.

(mine is the original 1977 edition)
Antonio Gallo

Edith Holden (1871-1920) è un’illustratrice inglese, anche insegnante d’arte, che ha condotto una vita libera da convenzioni nella campagna che le ha fatto da cornice, amando la natura sopra ogni cosa. In un giorno di primavera del 1920, infatti, questa sua passione le è stata fatale, poiché la donna è annegata nel Tamigi, si pensa nel tentativo di cogliere dalla sponda un ramo di castagno in fiore.

La sua è una famiglia anticonformista, per l’epoca vittoriana. La madre, Emma Wearing, ex governan
Nov 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this books! It is not meant to be read as a novel. It is a women's journal/diary and was never intended to be seen by the public. It is day to day observations of her garden, poetry, quotes, etc. with beautiful drawings by the author. It is best read in small doses. I am planning to reading it again starting in January and then read each month throughout the year.
Judith Rich
Jan 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: auto-biog
Not sure why this was such a massive best-seller, as it is quite dull, but it has very pretty illustrations.

What a dull and empty life she must have had - so narrow. And then she finally moved to London, found happiness and married and promptly drowned trying to gather leaves.
Shane-Raina Bailey
Beautiful nature journal, I aspire to this with my own.
Jul 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
May 25, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uk, non-fiction
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
Sep 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Layla-Tal Medina
Sep 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book as a birthday gift when I was 15. My father bought this for me because he knew that I loved drawing as well as writing, and it might inspire me to do the same. While I might never be good as Edith (I can hardly draw a dog), I loved reading this book--and I savoured every page, hence the reason it took me five days to finish it! I usually read books in one or a few sittings--depending on the plot and thickness of the book--but this one merited a proper reading!

Do yourselves
Jul 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 27, 2011 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
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.
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.
Jun 19, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
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.
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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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