A Shepherd’s Life by W.H. Hudson

‘Hudson belongs as much to the air as to the earth’ Adam Thorpe

Through the story of one man, Caleb Bawcombe, a shepherd whose flocks graze the Wiltshire, Hampshire and Dorset borders, we meet men and women of humble birth, poachers, gypsies, farmers and labourers striving to survive on the land. As we read, the cumulative affect of their stories becomes much more than a record of rural life. It reads like a lost hymn, sung by people whose lives were disregarded and whose histories are now forgotten.

Read the full introduction by Adam Thorpe

Paperback with flaps | 210 mm x 156 mm | 256 pages

Internal wood engravings by Howard Phipps

Cover artwork by Kate Lynch


In stock


W. H. HUDSON was born in Argentina, son of Anglo-American settlers. As a youth he spent much time wandering alone in the Pampas, studying its wildlife and encountering gauchos, whose nomadic, shepherding life left a deep impression. In 1869 he moved to England, settling first in London where he lived in poverty until the award of a Civil List pension in 1901. Success finally came with a novel Green Mansions, but he is best known for A Shepherd’s Life (1910) and an autobiographical memoir Far Away and Long Ago (1918). He was also a pioneering conservationist and a founding member of the RSPB.

Additional information

Weight350 g
Dimensions14 × 156 × 216 mm

1 review for A Shepherd’s Life by W.H. Hudson

  1. Colin Elford

    Colin Elford, author of A Year in the Woods, has posted his response to reading WH Hudson’s A Shepherd’s Life. ‘I was deeply impressed with the spirit of the book,’ writes Colin, ‘only a well written book like A Shepherd’s Life allows you to walk unnoticed among the characters and wrap the cloak of period around you.’ Read his comments in full at Caught by the River.

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