Time for an Outing
Walking Diaries, 1884-1898
A richly-illustrated introduction to a pioneering Dutch nature writer
The leading Dutch conservationist Jac. P. Thijsse (1865–1945) remains well known today – not only for his influential studies of Dutch botany and the early history of the environmental movement, but most of all for his charming popular books such as A Year in Birds and Blonde Dunes. He co-founded an influential nature magazine and a major Dutch organization for conservation and was instrumental in establishing the first Dutch natural monument, the Naardermeer.
His series of beautifully illustrated Verkade albums can still be found in the collections of many Dutch families. For many younger readers, they sparked a lifelong interest in nature and in exploring the Dutch countryside. Thijsse’s diaries report on his own explorations, with keen observations of the landscape, the birds and animals, and the changing seasons.
Marga Coesèl puts the diaries into context with a biographical introduction, expert commentary, and a wealth of magnificent period illustrations of the species and places described by the young Thijsse – including many of Thijsse’s own skilful drawings. This beautiful edition tempts the casual reader to keep coming back for more and offers new insights into the origins of Thijsse’s ideas and conservationist values. It also transports us back to a lost world of Dutch nature: ‘Hundreds of black seaducks on the Zuiderzee. In the evening, thousands of hooded crows, rooks, and jackdaws fly from the city to pass the night in the reed beds by the sea.’