Thursday, September 27, 2007

W. H. Hudson Mixes Fact & Fiction

[W. H. Hudson to Morley Roberts]

40 St. Luke's Road, W.

April 21st, 1901.

My Dear M.

Thanks for your note. I am glad you are getting such splendid weather, and almost wish our rambles had been deferred a fortnight. But what is, is, and things happen just as they like and there's an end on't. Yesterday I had a day in Richmond Park and saw the Gt. crested grebes just arrived for the summer at the Pin Ponds. Also the herons breeding in Sidmouth Wood. If only to-morrow will be as fine! I am going for the day to Woburn Abbey, the Duchess of Bedford having invited me to go and see the beasts there. She thinks they will interest me--does any woman or man know what does or would interest me, I wonder? I have just lent your Fugitives to Mrs. Hubbard who is a great admirer of your books. That was a good paper of yours in yesterday's Literature. It is written out of a full mind and is all the more effective because of the quiet restrained style and the light way in which you smilingly touch upon the blunders of the realist and scientific fictionists who have not absorbed their knowledge. By the by you go wrong in the Fugitives tho' you don't say much about the feathered denizens of the grove. Gwen or some one hears a blackbird whistle one frosty day in winter. She must have heard a thrush: the blackbird never indulges in a song or whistle in winter, though he chuckles often enough when disturbed.

Where is Cowley--or is it a mere imaginary place? In half an hour the train got to Bletchley Station where Jim Carruthers* turned up, and carried off his jelly-fish of a woman. I get out to-morrow at Bletchely Station for Woburn Abbey, so I suppose Cowley is on the Euston line further away.

Hope to see you when you get back, and hope your fine weather will last.

Yours ever,

W. H. Hudson

*A character mentioned in the novel Fugitives by Morley Roberts.

-from Men, Books and Birds by W. H. Hudson with notes, some letters, and an introduction by Morley Roberts. (London: Jonathan Cape, 1928) p. 29-30.

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