A Naturalist Delight: Rizzoli Press reprints Edwardian lady’s 1906 ‘Country Diary’

By Karen Knapstein

Edith Holden (1871-1920) was born at Kings Norton, Birmingham, England, one of seven children of a Midlands paint manufacturer. After attending art school, Holden worked as an illustrator and had her drawings published in several books.

Early 20th Century Journal Captivates

Country diary

“The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady,” is available from booksellers nationwide.

She spent the year 1906 recording her observations of the English countryside, inspirations and poetry in her diary, illustrating the pages with her own artworks. After her passing, the manuscript was kept private and was passed down through Holden’s family.

Originally published in 1977, a goal of this current reprint, which is part of the Rizzoli International’s Classic Reprint program, is to retain the appeal and beauty of the original volume. It is filled with Holden’s illustrations of the English countryside’s flora and fauna through the changing seasons of the year, as well as handwritten notes, observations, and quotations. Reading through the pages brings readers back to a cultural period in which propriety, civility, and an appreciation for the natural world reigned. The bound-in ribbon bookmark is a beautiful finishing touch.

The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady makes an enchanting addition to the library of any gardener or lover of charming book arts.

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