William Henry Hudson

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William Henry Hudson
Hudson William Henry.jpg
William Henry Hudson
Born (1841-08-04)4 August 1841
Quilmes, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina
Died 18 August 1922(1922-08-18) (aged 81)
40, Tower House, Notting Hill Gate, London.
Residence 40, Tower House London and 24, Penzance Parade, Penzance, Cornwall
Nationality English Argentine
Fields Natural history
Known for Green Mansions (novel)

William Henry Hudson (4 August 1841 – 18 August 1922) was an author, naturalist, and ornithologist.

Life and work[edit]

Hudson was born in the borough of Quilmes, now Florencio Varela of the greater Buenos Aires, in Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. He was the son of Daniel Hudson and his wife Catherine née Kemble, United States settlers of English and Irish origin. He spent his youth studying the local flora and fauna and observing both natural and human dramas on what was then a lawless frontier, publishing his ornithological work in Proceedings of the Royal Zoological Society, initially in an English mingled with Spanish idioms. He had a special love of Patagonia.

Hudson settled in England during 1874, taking up residence at St Luke's Road in Bayswater.[1] He produced a series of ornithological studies, including Argentine Ornithology (1888–1899) and British Birds (1895), and later achieved fame with his books on the English countryside, including Hampshire Day (1903), Afoot in England (1909) and A Shepherd's Life (1910), which helped foster the back-to-nature movement of the 1920s and 1930s. It was set in Wiltshire and inspired a later book The Shepherd's Life about a Lake District farmer which was published in 2015.

He was a founding member of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

Hudson's best known novel is Green Mansions (1904), and his best known non-fiction is Far Away and Long Ago (1918), which was made into a film. Ernest Hemingway famously referred to Hudson's book The Purple Land (1885) in his novel The Sun Also Rises and also referred to Hudson's Far Away and Long Ago in his posthumous novel The Garden of Eden (1986).

In Argentina, Hudson is considered to belong to the national literature as Guillermo Enrique Hudson, the Spanish version of his name. A town in Berazategui Partido and several other public places and institutions are named after him.

Towards the end of his life, Hudson moved to Worthing in Sussex, England. His grave is in Broadwater and Worthing Cemetery in Worthing.


  • The Purple Land that England Lost: Travels and Adventures in the Banda Oriental, South America (1885)
  • A Crystal Age (1887)
  • Argentine Ornithology (1888)
  • Fan–The Story of a Young Girl's Life (1892), as Henry Harford
  • The Naturalist in la Plata (1892)
  • Idle Days in Patagonia (1893)
  • Birds in a Village (1893)
  • Lost British Birds (1894), pamphlet
  • British Birds (1895), with a chapter by Frank Evers Beddard
  • Osprey; or, Egrets and Aigrettes (1896)
  • Birds in London (1898)
  • Nature in Downland (1900)
  • Birds and Man (1901)
  • El Ombu (1902), stories; later South American Sketches
  • Hampshire Days (1903)
  • Green Mansions: A Romance of the Tropical Forest (1904)
  • A Little Boy Lost (1905)
  • Land's End. A Naturalist's Impressions in West Cornwall (1908)
  • Afoot in England (1909)
  • A Shepherd's Life: Impressions of the South Wiltshire Downs (1910)
  • Adventures Among Birds (1913)
  • Tales of the Pampas (1916)
  • Far Away and Long Ago - A History of My Early Life (1918; new edition by Eland, 2005)
  • The Book of a Naturalist (1919)
  • Birds in Town and Village (1919)
  • Birds of La Plata (1920) two volumes
  • Dead Man's Plack and An Old Thorn (1920) - see Dead Man's Plack
  • A Traveller in Little Things (1921)
  • Tired Traveller (1921), essay
  • Seagulls In London. Why They Took To Coming To Town (1922), essay
  • Hind in Richmond Park (1922)
  • The Collected Works (1922–23), 24 volumes
  • 153 Letters from W.H. Hudson (1923), edited by Edward Garnett
  • Rare Vanishing & Lost British Birds (1923)
  • Ralph Herne (1923)
  • Men, Books and Birds (1925)
  • The Disappointed Squirrel (1925) from The Book of a Naturalist
  • Mary's Little Lamb (1929)
  • South American Romances (1930) The Purple Land; Green Mansions; El Ombú
  • W.H. Hudson's Letters to R. B. Cunninghame Graham (Golden Cockerel Press 1941; about R. B. Cunninghame Graham)
  • Tales of the Gauchos (1946)
  • Letters on the Ornithology of Buenos Ayres (1951), edited by David W. Dewar
  • Diary Concerning his Voyage from Buenos Aires to Southampton on the Ebro (1958)
  • Gauchos of the Pampas and Their Horses (1963), stories, with R.B. Cunninghame Graham
  • English Birds and Green Places: Selected Writings (1964) ISBN 0-575-07207-5
  • Birds of A Feather: Unpublished Letters of W.H. Hudson (1981), edited by D. Shrubsall


  1. ^ The Post Victorians:W H Hudson by H J Massingham, p261


  • G. F. Wilson (1922, 1968) Bibliography of the Writings of W.H. Hudson
  • John R. Payne (1977) W.H. Hudson. a Bibliography


  • Morley Roberts (1924) W.H. Hudson
  • Ford Madox Ford (1937) Portraits from Life
  • Robert Hamilton (1946) W.H. Hudson:The Vision of Earth
  • John T. Frederick (1972) William Henry Hudson
  • D. Shrubsall (1978) W.H. Hudson, Writer and Naturalist
  • Ruth Tomalin (1982) W.H. Hudson – a biography
  • Amy D. Ronner (1986) W.H. Hudson: The Man, The Novelist, The Naturalist
  • Felipe Arocena (2003) William Henry Hudson: Life, Literature and Science

Further reading[edit]

  • Jason Wilson: Living in the sound of the wind, [A Personal Quest For W. H. Hudson, Naturalist And Writer From The River Plate], London : Constable, 2016, ISBN 978-1-4721-2205-6

External links[edit]