Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Reading about nature

I have to admit that I am an armchair naturalist. Reading about nature; watching nature shows - that's where I'm most comfortable. I enjoy being outside, but have to push myself to get there. So I admire people who are "at home in the outside". Edith Holden was one of those people. She was an artist who regularly spent a good deal of time on walks or bike riding in the great outdoors. "The Edwardian Lady" by Ina Taylor is a biography of her life that gave a great deal of insight into life in the late 1800's and early 1900's, as well as a description of Edith's life. It was also wonderfully illustrated with photos and the artwork of Edith and her sisters . Four interesting points from this book:

1. Edith was 39 years old when she got married, but there was no indication that she was pining away all those unmarried years. She got on with her life and it was a very interesting one, indeed.

2. Most people of the day went to church, but amazingly many were also into occult activities. One wonders how they managed to reconcile that fact.

3. Edith Holden Smith died tragically about 9 years after her marriage. She was attempting to collect specimens for drawing, and fell into a creek and drowned.

4. Edith authored a well-loved book "The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady" (link is to several copies to be had for $0.10!) When I found this book in a used book store years ago my heart began to beat wildly and my palms broke out in sweat.

What else would I have finished knitting right now but another hat. Again in Paton's Classic Wool Merino and the Classic WWII watchcap pattern. It does have a zig zag pattern on the ribbing, but being black you can't see it very well. I loved working with this yarn and would like to make another to keep.

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