A beautiful book recommendation for you, this one has stayed with me years after reading it.

 The Paper Garden, Mrs Delany (Begins Her Life’s Work) at 72. 

By Molly Peacock. 

Published by @bloomsburypublishing

Amongst the pages there are stunning examples of Mrs Delany’s work, I still find myself studying flowers and wondering how Mary Delany did it all when there weren’t dye colours or paper supplies to order online. No camera to take a photo of her subject, each specimen had to be studied and crafted as it was wilting.

Then there is the who’s who of the time, who didn’t Mary Delany know?! You know that hypothetical question of who dead or alive would you invite to dinner or want to sit next to on a plane? What I would give to spend an afternoon in the company of Mrs Delany and her good friend the Duchess of Portland, one of the richest women in the UK who’s natural history collection sounds amazing. (The Duchess of Portland financed botanical exploration.) They were both members of the Bluestockings.

A great book for your book club as it spans over many genres.

If you would like to learn more, many of Mrs Delany’s collages are now housed in the Prints and Drawings department at the British Museum (www.britishmuseum.org).  For the 2019 Women’s History Month the museum were shining a light on women artists in the collection, there is a piece on Mrs Delany. I just checked and you can now buy prints and merchandise from the museum shop. There are even Postcards!

Happy reading,

Jude x



Book Review: The Paper Garden.

July 4, 2024



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