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The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  1,197 Ratings  ·  122 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
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published May 1st 2006 by Top That! Publishing (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
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
Nov 02, 2008 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
Mar 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
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.
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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: 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
Apr 29, 2011 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
Pam Kennedy
Feb 11, 2016 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.
Apr 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014, nonfiction
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.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it liked it
A charming book, perfect for reading while relaxing in the garden. Holden's diary, originally constructed in 1906 to chronicle the changing seasons around her English country house , is full of her paintings of flowers and birds as well as her handwritten thoughts and poems about the natural world around her and the seasonal calendar.
Cheryl Hager
What an unexpected gem! I read the book in combination with watching the 12-part dramatization of the same name. The illustrations are beautiful, but the movie added an extra bit of splendor, especially since it was filmed in the same area Edith Holden lived. As a nature lover myself, I love this idea--minus so much poetry. haha
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Glorious!!!! If you journal, make art, love flowers or just want some eye candy, get this book. You will not be disappointed.
Shirley Revill
Loved this book. Recommended.
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.
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read this lovely book many years ago, when I was doing research. The images are beautiful. There are some recipes also.
Oct 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
"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
one of the loveliest books I have ever had the pleasure to read or own.

(mine is the original 1977 edition)
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It's always fun to read a work never meant to be published--private letters, a diary, etc.--since the writer had an audience of one, him or herself. Granted, this kind of writing makes no overtures to entertainment or pace, but simply exists as the spontaneous impressions and thoughts of a single person. This book is an amazing find: plucked from the early 1900's, it records a year in the life of Edith Holden, who spent her life taking long, rambling walks across the countryside (often biking) t ...more
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
Dane Cobain
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I picked up this book after hearing a YouTuber I watch (Hannah Tay) talking about it on her channel, and I’m glad that I did. It’s basically exactly what it claims to be, a facsimile reproduction of naturalist Edith Holden’s 1906 diary, complete with her hand-drawn colour illustrations.

It makes for a fascinating read, and part of the reason for that is actually because she didn’t write that many entries. That’s a good thing, because it enables you to whizz from month to month and season to seaso
Nov 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I found out about this book while watching one of our favorite youtube channels Sew the Land. I thought it would be perfect to go along with our nature studies at home for my sons whom I homeschool.

Edith Holden would walk, bike, and travel about in search for beautiful nature. She'd write down entries each month of the year of 1906. In these entries she talks about flowers, plants, animals, weather, and includes poems and drawings/paintings of the things she saw. It was so interesting and we le
Tom Schulte
Nov 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
A beautiful facsimile book of Edith Holden 1906 record/diary/amateur naturalist's log of poetry, observations, and colorful watercolors of the flora and fauna of her British countryside through the changing seasons. There is one chapter for each month, including background on the month's name and final section listing the scientific and common names of area wildflowers and birds.

Holden's carefully handwritten entries include her favorite relevant poems (Robert Burns, Edmund Spenser, etc.) and he
Jan 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Charming book. I can see it as a good coffee table book. The illustrations are gorgeous and it has a decent collection of poetry. It must be nice to have been Holden. She basically wandered and jotted down all the plants she saw
However, that is all you’ll get. Just stuff about plants. This can get boring. I mostly looked at the poems, intros, and photos.
I also got frustrated with the font. Sometimes everything was crammed so tightly that I struggled to read. I know the font is for aesthetic pu
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady is the reproduction of naturalist Edith Holden’s 1906 diary. The diary is divided into the months of the year, starting in January 1906. Each month contains a little bit of monthly lore, poetry and a recording of daily walks taken near her home in a small English village. The words are written in Holden’s lovely handwriting. She was a schooled artist and included many of her own watercolor illustrations of natural objects, plants, birds and insects. The boo ...more
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biology, favorites
As the cover blurb says - originally written in 1906 by an amateur biologist. Found & published in 1977. Edith Holden was a talented illustrator as well. The pictures are absolutely beautiful. Birds, flowers, snakes, trees, fungi. Even a scene of a farmer plowing. English meadow & woodland.
The text looks hand written. There are poems & sayings for each month of the year. We get a snapshot of the year in nature.
For those who love the outdoors.
Nov 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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.
Dec 31, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The rating is based on the artwork and the information at the beginning of the months which describe the origins of where the names of the month come from. The dairy itself was difficult to read. A book to skim rather than read.
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Afternoon Tea and...: Edith Holden 1 3 Dec 12, 2017 05:13AM  
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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
More about Edith Holden

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