"Finding W. H. Hudson: The Writer Who Came to Britain to Save the Birds" talk by Conor Mark Jameson
Our next Indoor Meeting is on Thursday 28th September and after his brilliant previous talk on his last book Looking for the Goshawk, Conor Mark Jameson is returning with an illustrated talk on his latest book.
Finding W. H. Hudson: The Writer Who Came to Britain to Save the Birds.
An imposing, life-size oil painting dominates the main meeting room at the RSPB’s base in the heart of England: ‘the man above the fireplace’ – always present, rarely mentioned. Curious about the person in the portrait, the author began a quest to rediscover William Henry Hudson (1841–1922). It became a mission of restoration: stitching back together the faded tapestry of Hudson’s life, re-colouring it in places and adding new threads from the testaments of his closest friends.
This book traces the unassuming field naturalist’s path through a dramatic and turbulent era: from Hudson’s journey to Britain from Argentina in 1874 to the unveiling by the prime minister of a monument and bird sanctuary in his honour 50 years later, in the heart of Hyde Park – a place where the young immigrant had, for a time, slept rough. At its core, this extraordinary story reveals Hudson’s deep influence on the creation of his beloved Bird Society by its founding women, and the rise of the conservation movement. It reveals the strange magnetism of this mysterious man from the Pampas – unschooled, battle-scarred and once penniless – that made his achievements possible, and left such a profound impression on those who knew him.
By the end of his life, Hudson had Hollywood studios bidding for his work. He was a household name through his luminous and seminal nature writing, and the Bird Society had at last reached the climax of a 30-year campaign, working to create the first global alliance of bird protectionists. A century after Hudson’s death, this is a long-overdue tribute to perhaps our most significant – and most neglected – writer-naturalist and wildlife campaigner.
Impeccably researched... sparkles with skilfully drawn portraits of Hudson's female collaborators [and] such friends as "Don Roberto". A creative blend of detective work and narrative intuition. --Christoph Irmscher, Wall Street Journal
I'm blown away! This guy was way ahead of his time and totally amazing; the original urban birder. --David Lindo, The Urban Birder
Conor has done a wonderful job in bringing to life the man whose picture has for so long hung above the fireplace in RSPB Headquarters but whose backstory is not well known. By revealing the campaigning techniques that Hudson and others successfully used to secure greater protection for birds, Conor reminds contemporary campaigners of what it takes to tackle the existential threats facing our environment today. It’s a great read for all those that care about nature and what it takes to save it. --Martin Harper, Interim CEO, Birdlife International
A fascinating insight into Hudson the man and his fundamental role in the early years of the RSPB - his vision, gift for strategy and campaigning passion shine through in this most enjoyable book. I always enjoy Conor Mark Jameson's writing. --Beccy Speight, CEO, RSPB
As you can see from the reviews and if you have heard Conor speak before you then you know this not a talk to be missed!
So please join us at Hintlesham and Chattisham Community Hall, Timperleys, Hintlesham, Ipswich IP8 3PX on Thursday 28th September. Doors open from 7pm talk starts at 7.30pm, licensed bar and teas & coffees. Entrance is £3 per person, everybody welcome.