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Green Mansions: A Romance of the Tropical Forest

Green Mansions: A Romance of the Tropical Forest by William H. Hudson

“Green Mansions: A Romance of the Tropical Forest” is a narration of his life story by Abel, a Venezuelan, to a comrade. Once a wealthy young man, he meddled in politics to the extent of provoking a revolution… which failed.

Escaping into the tropical forests of Guyana Abel takes up gold hunting, then journal-writing, and fails at both. Now with no aim for his life, he drifts until he takes up residence with a remote Indian tribe. Soon he learns of a wood the Indians avoid, as it is inhabited by a dangerous Daughter of the Didi, who, they say, slew one of them with magic. The fellow was in fact hit with a poisoned dart by accident, but his dying belief that she had caught the dart and hurled it at him survived him.

Intrigued, Abel visits the wood repeatedly, and eventually encounters Rima. She indeed is something magical. She seems to have a pact with nature: animals don’t molest her, she speaks in a melodious birdsong (as well as Spanish), and she even makes her garments of spider silk. When Abel is bitten by a venomous snake that acts protective of her, she and her “grandfather” Nuflo nurse Abel back to health.

Both Abel and Rima are wonderments to each other, someone unlike any other person they have ever encountered. They fall in love, a love that is stymied by Rima’s inability to understand the feelings Abel creates in her. On a long trek to discover Rima’s origins, they find that her unique people no longer exist, but they finally confront the magnetism that is drawing them together. Finally they find joy, and make plans… until Rima is murdered by the Indians.

And then it is time for vengeance!

First Page:


A Romance of the Tropical Forest

by W. H. Hudson


I take up pen for this foreword with the fear of one who knows that he cannot do justice to his subject, and the trembling of one who would not, for a good deal, set down words unpleasing to the eye of him who wrote Green Mansions, The Purple Land, and all those other books which have meant so much to me. For of all living authors now that Tolstoi has gone I could least dispense with W. H. Hudson. Why do I love his writing so? I think because he is, of living writers that I read, the rarest spirit, and has the clearest gift of conveying to me the nature of that spirit. Writers are to their readers little new worlds to be explored; and each traveller in the realms of literature must needs have a favourite hunting ground, which, in his good will or perhaps merely in his egoism he would wish others to share with him.

The great and abiding misfortunes of most of us writers are twofold: We are, as worlds, rather common tramping ground for our readers, rather tame territory; and as guides and dragomans thereto we are too superficial, lacking clear intimacy of expression; in fact like guide or dragoman we cannot let folk into the real secrets, or show them the spirit, of the land... Continue reading book >>

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