I'm always a little late (like quite a few years) with what is new. Through some wonderful blogs that I read, I discovered Edith Holden and her books; The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady and The Nature Notes of an Edwardian Lady.
As you may know, Edith's book shown above was written back in 1906. I remember seeing this book in the book shop at Coughton Court when I visited in 2013. Too bad I wasn't familiar with what I was looking at. The inside front page reads: "Gowan Bank, Olton, Warwickshire, Nature Notes for 1906". The entire book is a facsimile of the original written in Edith's beautiful handwriting. I purchased my copy of this book via an online bookstore for less than $5.00. It's a hardback edition, printed in 1977 in Italy.
After I received the first book, I had to get Edith's second book; The Nature Notes of an Edwardian Lady. Again, I ordered this book online and it's a paperback edition printed and bound in The Netherlands.
On April 22, 1906, Edith writes:
"Went to Bickleigh Vale, - a deep, narrow combe, running down out of the moor, with steep, wooded slopes on either side, and deep down at the bottom the river Plym winding it's way. The ground was carpeted with Anemones and Blue-bells and here and there Primroses, and the tall, handsome plants of the Wood Spurge were conspicuous with their red stalks and pale green flowers. It was the first name I had ever seen this plant......."
Above is my watercolor of Edith's Wood Spurge
Her book, Nature Notes for 1906 was posthumously published in 1977 under the title of The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady. Edith originally wrote this book to encourage her pupils in nature. Many marketing items followed featuring Edith's art work. Edith's great-niece, Rowena Stott, found Edith's diary in the family home in the mid 1970's. She took it to a publisher who published this book which fast become a best seller. For me, this is such an amazing story to think about; Edith's notebook sat untouched for over 60 years until a member of her family discovered it in the family home.
Edith was born during the Victorian age. I am very taken with this era. Beatrix Potter is a favorite of mine and Edith Holden is from the same era. Both of these women were very ahead of their time living in such a structured Victorian society.
As to why I was so late in discovering Edith Holden; Back in 1977 I was living in a small farming town in Eastern Washington. I grew up in a small town so it wasn't anything different for me. We had a small library that I visited frequently but otherwise, we were a bit secluded in what was going on. Our little town newspaper didn't have much news albeit potato prices, wheat prices, and local goings on. Looking back, I have such fond memories of living 22 years in this little place. It will always hold a dear place in my heart.
I hope I have not bored you with today's post. It's exciting to discover something new that brings me such joy.
My best to each of you,
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The Art of Home Making Mondays......
Do Tell Tuesday.....
Ivy and Elephants,,,
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