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The Purple Land

by W. H. Hudson

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About Book

John Galsworthy, 1915
"Of living writers that I have read, W. H. Hudson is the rarest spirit."

Book Description
First published in 1885, The Purple Land was the first novel of William Henry Hudson, author of Green Mansions. The Anglo-Argentine naturalist distinguished himself both as one of the finest craftsmen of prose in English literature and as a thinker on ecological matters far ahead of his time.

The Purple Land is the exuberant, often wryly comic, first-person account of a young Englishman's imprudent adventures, set against a background of political strife in nineteenth-century Uruguay. Eloping with an Argentine girl, young Richard Lamb makes an implacable enemy of his teenage bride's father. Leaving her behind, he goes ignorantly forth into the interior of the country to seek his fortune and is eventually imprisoned and persecuted by the vengeful father. His narrative closes as he sets off on still another impetuous quest.

This facsimile of the 1904 Three Sirens Press edition includes striking woodcuts by Keith Henderson illustrating the characters in the novel and the fauna of Uruguay. Ilan Stavans's introduction offers an opportunity to revisit The Purple Land as a "road novel" in which an outsider offers reflections on nationality and diasporic identity.

The Americas, Stavans, series editor; with a new introduction by Ilan Stavans

Download Description
This work was first issued in 1885, by Messrs. Sampson Low, in two slim volumes, with the longer, and to most persons, enigmatical title of The Purple Land That England Lost. A purple land may be found in almost any region of the globe, and 'tis of our gains, not our losses, we keep count. A few notices of the book appeared in the papers, one or two of the more serious literary journals reviewing it (not favourably) under the heading of Travels and Geography; but the reading public cared not to buy, and it very shortly fell into oblivion.

About the Author
W. H. Hudson (1841-1922) was born in Buenos Aires to American parents. He spent his youth in South America before emigrating to England in 1870. His books include the acclaimed novel Green Mansions, The Naturalist in La Plata, Idle Days in Patagonia, Adventures among Birds, A Crystal Age, A Shepherd's Life, Far Away and Long Ago, and A Hind in Richmond Park.



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