The Purple Land is a romantic novel set in the war-torn borderlands of Uruguay, the Banda Oriental. The story of Richard Lamb, an idealistic young Englishman, it begins with his abduction of Paquita and their escape from the vengeance of her Argentine father. Finding refuge in Montevideo, he is catapulted into a series of picaresque adventures: horse-stealing, duelling, escaping prison, and fighting on the losing side of a civil war, all the while falling constantly and unsuitably in love. Rooted in Hudson’s evocation of the simplicity and dignity of life on the pampas as well as his masterful depiction of its wildlife and landscape, The Purple Land is the first modern ‘road novel’. It is also a narrative of transformation, the Creolisation of an Englishman, redeemed by the heightened exuberance, energy, warmth and innate humanity of South America.