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Green Mansions: a romance of the tropical forest by W. H. (William Henry) Hudson
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like Idle Days in Patagonia, Afoot in England, The Land's End,
Adventures among Birds, A Shepherd's Life, and all his other
nomadic records of communings with men, birds, beasts, and
Nature, has a supreme gift of disclosing not only the thing he
sees but the spirit of his vision. Without apparent effort he
takes you with him into a rare, free, natural world, and always
you are refreshed, stimulated, enlarged, by going there.

He is of course a distinguished naturalist, probably the most
acute, broad-minded, and understanding observer of Nature living.
And this, in an age of specialism, which loves to put men into
pigeonholes and label them, has been a misfortune to the reading
public, who seeing the label Naturalist, pass on, and take down
the nearest novel. Hudson has indeed the gifts and knowledge of
a Naturalist, but that is a mere fraction of his value and
interest. A really great writer such as this is no more to be
circumscribed by a single word than America by the part of it
called New York. The expert knowledge which Hudson has of Nature
gives to all his work backbone and surety of fibre, and to his
sense of beauty an intimate actuality. But his real eminence and
extraordinary attraction lie in his spirit and philosophy. We
feel from his writings that he is nearer to Nature than other
men, and yet more truly civilized. The competitive, towny
culture, the queer up-to-date commercial knowingness with which
we are so busy coating ourselves simply will not stick to him. A
passage in his Hampshire Days describes him better than I can:
"The blue sky, the brown soil beneath, the grass, the trees, the
animals, the wind, and rain, and stars are never strange to me;
for I am in and of and am one with them; and my flesh and the
soil are one, and the heat in my blood and in the sunshine are