First published in the UK by Sampson Low in 1885.
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How I got this book:
Bought a ForgottenBooks edition at a second-hand bookshop in Spain
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Messrs. Sampson Low, in two slim volumes, with the longer and, to most persons, enigmatical title of The Purple Land that England Lost. A purple land may be found in almost any region of the globe, and tis of our gains, not our losses, we keep count. A few notices of the book appeared in the papers, one or two of the more serious literary journals reviewing it (not favourably) under the heading of Travels and Geography ;but the reading public cared not to buy, and it very shortly fell into oblivion. There it might have remained for a further period of nineteen years, or for ever, since the sleep of a book is apt to be of the unawakening kind, had not certain men of letters, who found it on a forgotten heap and liked it in spite of its faults, or because of them, concerned themselves to revive it. We are often told that an author never wholly loses his affection for a first book, and the feeling has been likened (more than once) to that of a parent towards a first-born.
This fictional account of the adventures of one Richard Lamb, fish-out of-water Englishman in 1860s Uruguay was originally published in 1885. I liked its overtly flowery language which immediately transported me back to the era and made Lamb's constant attitude of 'I'm English therefore ...' easier to stomach. The adventures themselves are entertaining and perilous for our hero, and also generally caused by his falling for the most recent woman to cross his path. The descriptions of Uruguay and her political situation at the time were interesting as I had no real knowledge of the country prior to reading this novel. I don't think I would search out any of Hudson's other novels to buy, but would pick them up to read if I spotted one on a book exchange.
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Books by William Henry Hudson / Victorian fiction / Books from Argentina