The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady

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I was given this lovely book by my sister on my 18th birthday back in 1978.  Published in 1977 by Webb and Bower (England), it is a facsimile of diary kept by Edith Holden.  It is a love story of one very talented woman’s love of nature.  Her artwork, while being realistic and with a keen eye for detail, is full of life and whimsy which separates it from many other artists renderings of nature.  Along with exquisite watercolor illustrations, it is chock full of poems about the wonders of the natural world and daily reports of the flowers, trees, birds etc… that she had seen on her walks and journeys.

 

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Born in 1871, she lived in England , went to art school, and became an illustrator.  At the age of forty she married a sculptor. She died at the age of forty-nine by drowning in the Thames.  The book jacket says that she had been collecting buds from chestnut trees.

Of the many books I had to leave behind when I moved to a smaller space after my husband died, never for a moment did I contemplate leaving this one.  It is a treasure and I never cease being grateful that it was discovered and published.

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Two Jonquils

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Two jonquils, mirroring white clouds and the yellow sun –

I remember the kind hands of a friend deftly planting them in my raggedy garden.

“They’ll never make it in this soil.” I silently thought.

And yet, here they are – a year later,

Two jonquils, mirroring white clouds and the yellow sun –

Teaching me about faith.