Other literary forms

(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

W. H. Hudson was most prolific as an essayist; most of his essays record his observations as a field naturalist. He was particularly fascinated by bird life; between 1888 and 1889 he compiled and published, with the aid of Philip Lutley Sclater, Argentine Ornithology, which was later revised as Birds of La Plata (1920). He followed this with books titled Birds in a Village (1893) and British Birds (1895). More general reflections on nature can be found in such of his books as Idle Days in Patagonia (1893) and Nature in Downland (1900). Although Hudson was primarily an observer and not a theorist, his last book of this type, A Hind in Richmond Park (1922), is a much more philosophical work, occasionally tending to the mystical, discussing the nature of sensory experience in animals and humans and linking this analysis to aesthetic theory and the “spiritualizing” of humans. He also wrote an autobiography, Far Away and Long Ago (1918), a lyrical work recalling his childhood in South America; it deals only with his early life and refers to no incidents after 1859.