Months at the Lakes (Glasgow, 1906)

The book is dedicated to Hardwicke’s older bother, Willingham, and his wife, Alice, who are ‘true lovers of the English Lakes and keen observers of Nature’.  About the book, Hardwicke writes:

It has been my custom for the past twenty years to keep a monthly record of the changes in the face and mood of Nature at the English Lakes.  These sketches of the ‘Months at the Lakes’ though written in the past two years, are a series of compound pictures or impressions drawn from such notes.

I have added thereto under each month some account of the more noticeable goings-on among the dale-folk, and matters of such local interest for lovers of country life as seemed specially to belong to the season.

The book was warmly praised by the critics.  One reviewer commented:

It is no wonder the English lakes are famous.  They have not only their devoted poet—nay, their school of devoted poets; they have also their clerical proseman.  Everybody who knows the literature of the lake country has read something or another of Canon Rawnsley’s.  His subject, however, is inexhaustible; his last book as fresh as his first.  Like the others, this is occupied by studies of the face of Nature as viewed both in the changes of scenery wrought by the seasons, and in the manners, customs, and characters of people in the dales.  Its sketches follow the order of the months, and set down from long observation how the countryside looks in January, how in February, and so on; but are saved from any monotony as of a gardener’s calendar, firstly, by their unrivalled knowledge of their subject, and secondly, by the skill with which they are interwoven with special studies of such incident as (to name a few) the “pace-egging” at Easter, the Grasmere sports, the North Country wrestling, and the Mardale Shepherds’ Meeting.  Charmingly pictorial themselves, they are accompanied by a few admirable photographic illustrations of characteristic scenes.  They make a book which will be read with a keen interest by anyone who wishes to realise what a fine show is to be seen in Keswick valley and thereaway as the months slue round the rollers in the diorama.     



January at the Lakes (pp. 1-7)

The Grasmere Dialect Play (pp. 7-17)

February at the Lakes (pp. 18-25)

White Candlemas (pp. 26-29)

March at the Lakes (pp. 30-36)

April at the Lakes (pp. 37-47)

Pace-Egging at Easter-Tide (pp.47-54)

May at the Lakes (pp. 55-62)

In Lily-Land (pp. 62-73)

June at the Lakes (pp. 74-82)

A Sunrise from Helvellyn (pp. 82-93)

July at the Lakes (pp. 94-103)

A Lake Country Sheep-Clipping (pp. 103-116)

August at the Lakes (pp. 117-126)

At the Grasmere Rushbearing. 1905 (pp. 126-132)

Wrestling in the North Countree (pp. 133-139)

The Grasmere Sports. 1905 (pp.140-153)

The Hound Trails of the North (pp. 153-159)

September at the Lakes (pp. 160-170)

A Day at Levens (pp. 171-181)

October at the Lakes (pp.182-191)

An October Day at Muncaster (pp. 192-202)

November at the Lakes (pp. 203-214)

The Mardale Shepherds’ Meeting (pp.214-233)

December at the Lakes (pp.234-240)

White Christmas at the Lakes (pp. 240-244)