WILLIAM HENRY HUDSON
(1841-1922)
Author

 

 


WILLIAM HENRY HUDSON was a British author, naturalist and ornithologist.  Hudson, the son of Anglo-American immigrants, grew up on his father’s farm, an estate on the Argentinean pampas, where the influence of limitless plains and teeming bird-life led to his interest in, and love for the natural world, its plant life and animal inhabitants.

Weakened by a three week long bout of typhus when he was 14 years old, followed by a bout of rheumatic fever a few years later, Hudson spent much time alone wandering the pampas, becoming a shy yet observant young man.  His parents had many books for him and his siblings to read, and now and then a visiting schoolteacher would be available for some formal education.

Hudson traveled on excursions to Brazil, Uruguay and Patagonia, keeping detailed records of his travels and observations.  He was able to combine his love and understanding of nature, and of human nature, to create vivid and compelling stories, which challenged readers to re-think the relationship between mankind and nature, and to re-assess the beliefs that divide the cultures of the world.

In the years following the death of Hudson's parents, he emigrated to London, England.  There, he published ornithological works including Argentine Ornithology (1888-1899) and British Birds (1895).  He followed these with popular books set in the English countryside, including Hampshire Days (1903) and Afoot in England (1909).  Other works include The Purple Land (1885), The Naturalist in La Plata (1892), A Shepherd's Life (1910), Far Away and Long Ago (1918), and A Hind in Richmond Park (1922).  He is best known for the now classic novel, Green Mansions (1904).  It is one of his most compelling and popular works.

Hudson’s work helped foster the back-to-nature movement of the 1920s to 1930s.  He was a founding member of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

Hudson died on August 18, 1922, in London, England.  He is buried in Worthing's Broadwater Cemetery, West Sussex, England.  The epitaph on his gravestone reads: “He Loved Birds and Green Places and the Wind on the Heath, and Saw Brightness of the Skirts of God.”