Far Away and Long Ago tells of the author's life until about age seventeen.
The book develops two important themes: a boy's growing involvement with nature and his coming to terms with death. From his earliest memories at about age four, Hudson discerns an extraordinary response to and delight in nature—its sights, sounds, and odors.
The book conveys this delight by narrating the author's experiences with birds, plants, mammals, and reptiles of the Argentine pampas where he grew up.
Beyond portraying the boy's simple delight, it shows a keen observer develop into a skilled naturalist. The book suggests that Hudson is more at home with nature than with human beings; he even prefers the solitude of nature to playing games with his siblings.
Throughout the book, Hudson develops the universal theme of death, first among animals, then people. Hudson finds death profoundly troubling, yet his mother comforts...