Flower-Time in the Oberland (Glasgow, 1904)

In May 1903, Hardwicke and Edith, accompanied by Gertrude and Catherine Simpson, set out on for a holiday in Switzerland, a country they had visited a number of times before.  This book is a record of that trip.  Its contents also include a number of pencil sketches by Edith.  Eleanor Rawnsley, Hardwicke’s second wife, records in her biography of her husband

[My] sisters wer again abroad with them, one of the memorable events of the tour being the occasion when Hardwicke, accompanied by the landlord of the hotel at the Engstlen Alp and other helpers, climbed a precipitous cliff by the side of a waterfall to obliterate with grey paint an advertisement of ‘Morgen Bitters’ which had appeared in enormous letters on the face of the rock.  It was during this visit to Switzerland that Hardwicke wrote his Book, Flower-time in the Oberland, which he dictated for the press to my sister Gertrude.  Of her he wrote home:

Gertruda, tho’ irreverent she jibes,
Has proved herself the very best of scribes;
There’s nothing shews where tact and common sense is
Like being called to be amanuensis—
And tho’ sometimes her spelling is erratic,,br />Her script is clear, and what the French call ‘pratique.’

(Rawnsley, Eleanor F., Canon Rawnsley: An Account of His Life (Glasgow, 1923), p. 169.)

In his Prefatory Note, Hardwicke wrote:

Encouraged first to go to Switzerland in Maytime by my friend John Ruskin, I have on each successive visit felt more and more how much the lovers of spring-tide foliage and flowers lose by postponing their journey to the Oberland, till the blossom has gone from the vales, and the snows have faded from all the lower heights.

This little record is published in the hope that those who have leisure or opportunity will make a pilgrimage in the prime of the year, when rest is surest and flower-time is the fairest.



At the Gates of Oberland (pp. 1-8)

The Hill of Saint Beatus (pp. 9-17)

At Beatenberg (pp. 18-32)

Walks at Beatenberg (pp. 33-50)

The Coming of Dawn at Beatenberg (pp. 51-58)

The Blaue. Kanderthal (pp. 59-70)

The Vale of ‘Nothing but Springs’ (pp. 71-84)

Mürren (pp. 85-92)

The Lake of the Four Cantons (pp. 93-111)

The Real Rigi (pp.112-126)

The Bürgenstock (pp. 127-138)

At the Angel Mount (pp. 139-156)

Walks at Engelberg (pp. 157-174)

Walks at Engelberg (pp. 175-188)

A Visit to the Monastery (pp. 189-199)

In Paradise (pp. 200-213)

Lucerne (pp. 214-237)

*Walks about Lucerne (pp. 238-262)

*Walks about Lucerne (pp.263-296) 

Walks about Lucerne (pp. 297-328) 

(* First published in 1896 by the Official Bureau of Information for Travellers at Lucerne as a pamphlet for tourists titled ‘The Revival of the Decorative Arts at Lucerne.)