BWB REMEMBERS THE BOOKS OF OUR CHILDHOOD (3 OF 3)
The third and final part in our Children’s Book Week series on the books that BWB employees remember from their childhood. Don’t forget...
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Mullen Books, Inc.
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SOUTH YORKSHIRE, GBR
Cloud 9 Books
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"The Paper Garden "is unlike anything else you have ever read. At once a biography of an extraordinary 18th century gentlewoman and a meditation on late-life creativity, it is a beautifully written tour de force from an acclaimed poet.
Mary Granville Pendarves Delany (1700-1788) was the witty, beautiful and talented daughter of a minor branch of a powerful English family. Married off at 16 to a 61-year-old drunken squire to improve the family fortunes, she was widowed by 25, and henceforth had a small stipend and a horror of marriage. She spurned many suitors over the next twenty years, including the powerful Lord Baltimore and the charismatic radical John Wesley. She cultivated a wide circle of friends, including Handel and Jonathan Swift. And she painted, she stitched, she observed, as she swirled in the outskirts of the Georgian court. In mid-life she found love, and married. Upon her beloved husband's death 23 years later, she arose from her grief, picked up a pair of scissors and, at the age of 72, created a new art form: mixed-media collage, which she called "mosaicks." Over the next decade, Mrs. Delany created an astonishing 985 botanically correct, breathtaking cut-paper flowers, now housed in the British Museum and referred to as the Flora Delanica.
Peacock, an award-winning poet, has delicately woven parallels in her own life around the story of Mrs. Delany's and, in doing so, has made this biography into a profound and beautiful examination of the nature of creativity and art.
Gorgeously designed and featuring 35 full-color illustrations, this is a sumptuous and lively book full of fashion and friendships, gossip and politics, letters and love. It's to be devoured as voraciously as one of the court dinners it describes.
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