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The Purple Land

W. H. Hudson

Book Overview: 

In W.H. Hudson’s first novel, an Englishman wandering on horseback across the pampas finds adventure and romance in Uruguay. The full title became: “The Purple Land: Being the Narrative of One Richard Lamb's Adventures in The Banda Oriental, in South America, as Told By Himself”. In the preface to "The Sun Also Rises", President Teddy Roosevelt said that everyone should read "The Purple Land."

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .As I approached, she looked up to me out of sweet, grey-blue eyes; there was a bashful smile on her lips, but she did not move or speak. On the willow-branch over her head were two young doves; they were, it appeared, her pets, unable yet to fly, and she had placed them there. The little things had crept up just beyond her reach, and she was trying to get them by pulling the branch down towards her.

Leaving my horse, I came to her side.

"I am tall, señorita," I said, "and can perhaps reach them."

She watched me with anxious interest while I gently pulled her birds from their perch and transferred them to her hands. Then she kissed them, well-pleased, and with a gentle hesitation in her manner asked me in.

Under the corridor I made the acquaintance of her grandfather, the white-haired old man, and found him a person it was very easy to get on with, for he agreed readily with eve. . . Read More

Community Reviews

A hilarious, tongue-in-cheek coming of age story set in Uruguay. The opening paragraphs are among the greatest I've ever read. It ranks with Ford Maddox Ford's "The Good Soldier" in terms of duplicity. The rest of the narrative doesn't quite live up to its early promise. It turns into a picaresque n

Un libro felice

Che sia un libro felice lo dice Borges, a cui é evidentemente piaciuto.

Felice per la vitalitá che pervade il protagonista del libro, l’inglese Richard Lamb, e le sue scorribande in quel paese a noi poco noto che é l’Uruguai, o Banda Orientale al tempo in cui é ambientato il libro, c

Mentioned by Hemingway in "The Sun Also Rises" as "a very sinister book if read too late in life, recounting the splendid imaginary amorous adventures of a perfect English gentleman in an intensely romantic land, the scenery of which is very well described."

In these scenic descriptions you can see t

What an odd book! Set in Uruguay in the 1860’s or 70’s, Purple Land starts as a picaresque novel about an Englishman’s journey around the country in search of employment. The story races along with the hero’s many adventures which include participating in a failed revolution, rescuing a damsel from

What a cracking adventure story this was, it really brought out the child in me. I can see that when this book came out it could have inspired young men to leave the safety of home to travel across the ocean, to fight in revolutions, to meet beautiful young ladies and to eat, drink and be merry.


Ammetto di avere una preferenza per Hudson, mi piace proprio la sua scrittura e l'ambientazione dei suoi racconti. Ne cito un passaggio: "Oh sì, tutti stiamo invano cercando la felicità nel modo sbagliato. Un tempo l'avevamo, era tutta nostra, ma noi l'abbiamo disprezzata perché era soltanto la vecc

The first novel by W. H. Hudson, The Purple Land is a fictionalization of his experiences in Uruguay, then referred to simply as the Banda Oriental, or the Eastern Sector. It tells the story of a young married man who is forced by circumstances to leave home to work on a distant estancia. There he q

La terra rossa è la “Banda Oriental” (Uruguay). Una terra aspra ma suggestiva, ricca solo di pascoli e mandrie contesa per lungo tempo tra spagnoli e portoghesi, poi da argentini e brasiliani, infine da fazioni interne appoggiate ora dall’una ora dall’altra parte degli originali contendenti, con bre

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