Saturday, July 16, 2011

Arrived in the Mail: THE PAPER GARDEN by Molly Peacock

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to win a book in an online Give-a-way over at the The Picky Girl blog - my first book prize ever. Very exciting! Just from reading about it, I could tell that this was a book I'd want to own rather than borrow from the library. How did I know that? Well, from Picky Girl's wonderful review.  In fact, all the reviews I've read have been glowing.

Anyway, it arrived yesterday. THE PAPER GARDEN An Artist [Begins Her Life's Work] At 72 by Molly Peacock. It's a Bloomsbury Publishers book and you know how they take care with their books. This one is beautifully designed and just gorgeous to look at and hold.

The book is a biography of Mary Granville Pendarves Delany (1700 - 1788), a woman who, after a rich full life, and the death of her beloved husband after 23 years of marriage, took up scissors and invented a new art form: mixed-media collage.

This the sort of book that no Kindle or Nook can ever hold a candle to. Nothing mechanical can ever replace the look and feel, the luxury of something this beautiful. Such care was taken with the design that even the size of the book is perfcetion. Not too large or overpowering, it fits perfectly in the hand. The interior is filled with many illustrations of Delany's work which, amazingly, have survived over the centuries and are housed in the British Museum.

I am very much looking forward to reading this book and treasuring it for years to come.

Note: I notice that some of the book covers have the words 'An Artist...' replaced by 'Mrs. Delany...'. I'm assuming that the line was changed in a second printing or perhaps it's the British version. Don't know. All I do know is that my cover says, 'An Artist...' But the sharpest cover image I found online is this one I'm showing.


  1. What a lovely book! I love that - a book that Nook and Kindle can't do it justice. I joined a million book giveaways and never won and then won 3 in the same week.

  2. BookBelle: Don't you love when that happens? Unfortunately, it's never happened to me. :)

    But I'm happy I won this one. I've won two things online. This book and a gorgeous print from artist Catherine Nolin.

    I keep trying though.

  3. What a beautiful book!

    Lucky you to have this treasure.

    Enjoy it.

  4. Thanks, Kathy! I know I will. :)

  5. Hello Yvette:
    This definitely looks like a book to treasure and such an interesting subject too. We have never heard of this book or the artist,but this all sounds most intriguing. As you say, with its beautiful illustrations, this is a book to have and to hold rather than merely see it 'online'. In that respect, if nothing else, it is exactly 'up our street'!!

  6. I borrowed this book from the library but had just gotten into it and was enjoying it when it was due back. I wasn't able to renew it then, so I put it on hold again. I just received notice that it's waiting for me and I'm looking forward to finishing it. It's much better than I had anticipated. And it is a beautifully put together book. Mrs. Delaney is an inspiration for those of us 'older' ladies who are sometimes too lazy and afraid to start something new!

  7. Jane and Lance: I do think you would love this book. And you're fotunate enough to travel to England so you might be able to see Mrs. Delany's work at the British Museum - assuming it's availble to the public. (You never know with some of this fragile older paperwork.)

    I had never heard of this book or the artist, either, until a couple of months ago.

  8. Joan: I can't wait to get into the actual reading of THE PAPER GARDEN. I know I'm going to love it. How could I not?

    I'm so glad I get to keep my copy. :)

  9. Mystica: Yes, books like this are one of the reasons I'll always treasure actual books over any electronic reader.

  10. Hi Yvette,

    Here is a lovely interview with the artist of this book posted up at Amazon:

    How nice. And who knew about all of these heretofore hidden women artists?


  11. This looks like a beautiful book, Yvette! Congrats of winning it! I have a Kindle collecting dust in the box it was given to me in as a gift. I will probably pass it on to my daughter. I love books too much to read them on a electronic screen.

    I just finieshed "Sarah's Key" --it is a must read!

  12. I agree, ebooks will never have the beauty inherit in a well desinged book.

  13. Kathy: Thanks for the link. Yes, this is one of the many unheralded artists (mainly women, but also men) whose work deserves to be seen and marveled over.

  14. Pat: Thanks. First book I ever won and it's a goody. I looked at an e-reader in Staples just to see what the fuss is about. The only way I can see using it is when traveling or for text books. You travel a lot, Pat, so you might consider taking your Kindle rather than the weight of actual books. Just a thought.

    But other than that: No. :)

    SARAH'S KEY. I'll take a look.

  15. Ryan: At best, I think e-readers are a handy adjunct when you can't really carry lots of books with you. For me, that would be their primary purpose.

    Nothing can replace the actual look and feel of a book in the hand. :)

  16. Could not agree more: Nothing replaces a real honest-to-goodness book, the look, feel, smell.

    Then there's the pile of books on one's nightstand to look through to find the right book for the moment.

    Then there's the bookshelves I look at every day while at the computer. The books are interspersed with pottery (and those three elephants, one of marble from Turkey), and a few small sculptures from friends.

    There are books that belonged to family members, including a lot of art books. Then history books and more.

    I can't even imagine a day without them. And this is something a Kindle cannot give.

    A feeling of home.

  17. I so agree, Kathy. Every actual book has a story to tell above and beyond what's inside the pages. I can't imagine a day without them either.


Your comment will appear after I take a look.