W. H. Hudson (William Henry Hudson) Biography
(1841–1922), (William Henry Hudson), The Purple Land that England Lost, The Crystal Age, Argentine Ornithology
British naturalist and novelist, born of American parents at Quilmes, near Buenos Aires, Argentina; he spent much of his boyhood working on his father's farm, where he developed his abiding interest in ornithology. Left unfit for farming by a serious illness, he began writing and moved to London in 1874. The Purple Land that England Lost (two volumes, 1885), a collection of exotic stories with South American settings, was followed by The Crystal Age (1887), a novel envisioning an era of harmony attained through mankind's transcendence of sexuality. Argentine Ornithology (1888) was the first of his authoritative works of natural history, which also include The Naturalist in La Plata (1892), Birds in London (1898), and Nature in Downland (1900). In 1901 he met Edward Garnett, who greatly admired the stories of El Ombu (1902) and encouraged him to complete Green Mansions (1904); its widespread success gained him the financial security required for the travels throughout the south of England which resulted in a succession of works, including Afoot in England (1909) and A Shepherd's Life (1910), an elegiac reconstruction of the traditional order in South Wiltshire. Among his later publications are Far Away and Long Ago (1918), his highly regarded autobiography of his early years, and The Birds of La Plata (1920). The precise descriptive powers with which he communicated his intense love for nature gained him great critical and popular acclaim. A twenty-four volume edition of his Works was produced in 1922–3. W. H. Hudson: A Biography by Ruth Tomalin appeared in 1982.