I am reprinting here, in response to requests, certain recent experiences in Great Britain and France. These were selected in the hope of conveying to American readers some idea of the atmosphere, of "what it is like" in these countries under the immediate shadow of the battle clouds. It was what I myself most wished to know. My idea was first to send home my impressions while they were fresh, and to refrain as far as possible from comment and judgment until I should have had time to make a fuller survey. Hence I chose as a title for these articles, -intended to be preliminary, "A Traveller in War-Time." I tried to banish from my mind all previous impressions gained from reading. I wished to be free for the moment to accept and record the chance invitation or adventure, wherever met with, at the Front, in the streets of Paris, in Ireland, or on the London omnibus. Later on, I hoped to write a book summarizing the changing social conditions as I had found them.
W.H. Hudson was a late 19th century English naturalist who also wrote historical fiction such asThe Purple Land that England Lost: Travels and Adventures in the Banda Oriental, South America (1885)
I was once at a hunting dinner, given by a worthy fox-hunting old Baronet, who kept Bachelor's Hall in jovial style, in an ancient rook-haunted family mansion, in one of the middle counties. He had been a devoted admirer of the fair sex in his young days; but having travelled much, studied the sex in various countries with distinguished success, and returned home profoundly instructed, as he supposed, in the ways of woman, and a perfect master of the art of pleasing, he had the mortification of being jilted by a little boarding school girl, who was scarcely versed in the accidence of love.
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