Hudson, W H

Tagged: Author

(1841-1922) Argentinian-born US naturalist and author, in England from 1875, a UK citizen from 1900. His fine quasi-Utopian novel of the Far Future, A Crystal Age (1887 anon; signed, with a new preface, 1906; cut recast vt Playthings of Desire: Strange New Pleasures in a Strange New World circa 1945-1950 chap) depicts small, self-sufficient, matriarchally organized households living in harmony with Nature. The protagonist, tragically, cannot adapt to their Pastoral way of life, nor to their seemingly placid but (for a Christian) demanding candour about matters of Sex. A similar quasi-supernatural harmony with the Amazonian forest is enjoyed by the wild girl Rima in the affectingly powerful Green Mansions: A Romance of the Tropical Forest (1904), filmed as Green Mansions (1959); the last of her race, with supernatural talents (she can catch arrows in flight), she is ultimately destroyed by the local Indians, who are no more in tune with Nature than is the unhappy civilized protagonist. Both stories are remarkable anticipations of modern ecological mysticism (see Ecology). "Marta Riquelme", in El Ombú (coll 1902; exp vt Tales of the Pampas 1916), is an equally feverish fantasy in which the eponymous woman undergoes sorrow-induced metamorphosis into a bird. A Little Boy Lost (1905) is a children's fantasy which further develops Hudson's peculiar fascination (just before his death, he claimed his wife was a centenarian) with maternal figures; the boy himself, however, leaves behind him both his mother and the "lady of the hills" whose love does not keep him from his quest for Transcendence in the sea. [BS/JC]

see also: Anonymous SF Authors; History of SF; Sleeper Awakes.

William Henry Hudson

born Los Viente-cinco Ombúes, Quilmes, Argentina: 4 August 1841

died London: 18 August 1922

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