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No, it is not what you might think. We are not discussing anything green or home improvements, but we are talking about a book written by the Argentine/English writer William Henry Hudson (1841-1922) also called Guillermo Enrique Hudson by our Argentine friends.

Hudson was born and raised in Buenes Aires, but spent the rest of his adult life in England. He was not only a writer of over 30 books, but a well known ornithologist, i.e. a bird expert. The book we are talking about here Green Mansions was originally published in 1904 but this particular book was a Book of the Month Club version published in 1944. The book was designed by Stefan Salter and illustrated by E. McKnight Kauffer, an American designer and illustrator who actually lived in England most of the time. McKnight Kauffer became very well known there for the posters he designed for the London Transport Board used to popularize the London Underground as well as various Tourist Board posters, besides designing decorative rugs.

The book is not rare and I believe the original inserted card from the book club is probably a rarer find. The hardbound book came without a dust jacket but in a slipcase with a picture pasted on the front. The book is a well done example of a beautiful binding with silk like guards in green, a well designed book with beautifully printed plates.It is a seriously produced book that seemed to have been almost effortlessly made in spite of the war time restrictions on paper. The title has been reprinted and newly illustrated, but none match this version. The book was made into a 1959 movie starring Audrey Hepburn and Lee J. Cobb and was directed by Mel Ferrer. I do have some doubts if McKinght Kauffer actually knew Hudson the author.

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