ABSTRACT. W. H. Hudson, the author of the famous utopian novel, The Crystal Age, was also one of the most important Edwardian essayists. Due to his South-American background, he brought new light on English environment in his numerous books on landscape. Hudson was one of the first to see the threat to natural diversity and this sense of a disappearing world informs his essays. In this paper, I am looking at the particular capacity of Hudson’s essays to render an ecological perception and relate it to his regionalism. It is the region – outside the large urban conglomerations – which for Hudson represents the vestiges of utopian worlds where humans, animals and the earth can live in harmony. Regionalism thus becomes a form of paradisal nostalgia, while the environmental essay serves as a tool to capture this sense of a lost potential.

Keywords: Edwardian Age; essay; regionalism; Nature writing; anthropology; wilderness

Schenkel E (2020) The utopia of regionalism: W. H. Hudson and the environmental essay. Creativity 3(2): 29–53. doi:10.22381/C3220202

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University of Leipzig;
Leipzig, Germany

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