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Apples And Pears In A Hallway Framed Print from Fine Art America

The photograph I used as my starting point was taken a year ago at an erstwhile (and that’s another story to be told when I’m ready) friend’s hallway. I threw together a couple of books — vintage copies of Jane Austen’s Emma and Northanger Abbey that I bought from the shop attached to Chawton House in Steventon — a bottle of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey whisky and a wooden ‘bothy’ bowl that I bought from Garden Trading; I’ve since bought several more! The lilies were already on the hall table.

As is my way, I added a couple of textures from Design Cuts and some apples from an image by Leti Kugler at Unsplash.

Oh, I nearly forgot. Some of you might recognise the print on the wall. Yes, it’s Copper Pear.

Available at the following galleries:
Redbubble
Crated
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK
Fine Art America [14 fulfillment centers in 5 countries]
Saatchi Art

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


1877 first edition cover.

Black Beauty, a novel by English author Anna Sewell, was first published on the 24th of November, 1877. Considered to be a story about animal rights, the book is about t…

Source: On this day: the publication of Black Beauty | In Times Gone By…


While you don’t see them very often these days, fore-edge paintings were once some of the loveliest book illustrations around. Literally, they were around the edges of the book.

A fore-edge painting refers to an image painted or drawn on the closed leaves of a book. While covering the collected page edges in gold or…

Source: Lovely Hidden Paintings Adorned the Edges of Historic Books | Atlas Obscura


Illustration by Kris Di Giacomo from Enormous Smallness by Matthew Burgess, a picture-book biography of E.E. Cummings

“You can only write regularly if you’re willing to write badly… Accept bad writing as a way of priming the pump, a warm-up exercise that allows you to write well.”

Source: Jennifer Egan on Writing, the Trap of Approval, and the Most Important Discipline for Aspiring Writers – Brain Pickings


Portrait of John Keats by William Hilton

“The roaring of the wind is my wife and the Stars through the window pane are my Children… I do not live in this world alone but in a thousand worlds.”

BY MARIA POPOVA

“Nourish yourself with grand and austere ideas of beauty that feed the soul… Seek solitude,” the great French artist Eugène Delacroix counseled himself in 1824. Just a few years earlier, another timeless patron saint of the creative spirit extolled the rewards of solitude as a supreme conduit to truth and beauty.

Celebrated as one of the greatest poets humanity has ever produced, John Keats (October 31, 1795–February 23, 1821) married an extraordinary capacity for transcendence with an uncommon share of sorrow. His short life was suffused with loss from a young age — his father died after a horseback accident when Keats was eight and his mother died of tuberculosis when he was fourteen. And yet even amid his darkest despair, Keats…

Source: Keats on the Joy of Singledom and How Solitude Opens Our Creative Channels to Truth and Beauty – Brain Pickings


Excellent idea for the artistic book lover.

Rethinking Life

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Picture from:  Pinterest

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Re-jigged post from 2013.

English: Image of American author Louisa May A...

Louisa May Alcott, from a photo taken just previous to her going to Washington in 1862 as a hospital nurse. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


“She is too fond of books and it has turned her brain.”


What? Louisa May Alcott said that!  Surely not.  In case you’re thinking that the author of Little Women was not the woman you had always thought, fear not.  She put this absurd thought into the mouths of one of her characters in Work: A Story of Experience, a semi-autobiographical novel published in 1873 about a determined young lady intent on finding satisfying and worthwhile work.

As if one could ever read too many books; as if a fondness for the written word could ever addle the brain.

littlewomen

The Complete Little Women Series: Little Women, Good Wives, Little Men, Jo’s Boys

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Originally posted on Brain Pickings.

At Christmas time in 1944, more than a decade after the resounding success of Brave New World Aldous Huxley (July, 26 1894–November 22, 1963) penned his one and only children’s book, The Crows of Pearblossom (public library) — the story of Mr. and Mrs. Crow, whose eggs never hatch because the Rattlesnake living at the base of their tree keeps eating them. After the 297th eaten egg, the hopeful parents set out to kill the snake and enlist the help of their friend, Mr. Owl, who bakes mud into two stone eggs and paints them to resemble the Crows’ eggs. Upon eating them, the Rattlesnake is in so much pain that he beings to thrash about, tying himself in knots around the branches. Mrs. Crow goes merrily on to hatch “four families of 17 children each,” using the snake “as a clothesline on which to hang the little crows’ diapers.”

Like Gertrude Stein’s alphabet book To Do, Sylvia Plath’s children’s verses The Bed Book, and William Faulkner’s The Wishing Tree (also his only book for wee ones), it never saw light of day in Huxley’s lifetime but was published…

via Gorgeous Vintage and Modern Illustrations from Aldous Huxley’s Only Children’s Book | Brain Pickings.



“Books are carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculations at a standstill. Books are the engines of change, windows on the world, ‘lighthouses’ (as the poet said) ‘erected in the sea of time.’ They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind. Books are humanity in print.” Barbara Tuchman


Available at the following galleries:
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Crated
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK
Fine Art America
Fine Art England

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Time for Tea #8 Teacup Pillow
Time for Tea #8 Teacup Pillows


“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
― C.S. Lewis

*

“Arthur blinked at the screens and felt he was missing something important. Suddenly he realized what it was.
“Is there any tea on this spaceship?” he asked.”
― Douglas AdamsThe Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

*

“Honestly, if you’re given the choice between Armageddon or tea, you don’t say ‘what kind of tea?”
― Neil Gaiman


Available at the following galleries:
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


“I doubt I would have written a line … unless some minor tragedy had sort of twisted my mind out of the normal rut.”

My daily rhythms of reading and writing were recently derailed by a temporary but acute illness that stopped, unceremoniously and without apology, the music to which mind and matter are entwined in their intimate tango. For the second time in my adult life — the first being a food poisoning episode — I was made palpably aware of how body and brain conspire in the thing we call being. The extreme physical weakness somehow short-circuited the “associative trails” upon which fruitful thinking is based and my card to the library of my own mind was mercilessly revoked, and yet I was granted access to a whole new terra incognita of the mind, a Wonderland of fragmentary ideas and sidewise gleams at Truth. Then, as recovery airlifted me out of the mental haze, returning to my mere baseline of cognitive function felt nothing short of miraculous — as soon as I resumed reading, everything sparked fireworks of connections and illuminated associative trails in all directions. It was as though the illness had catapulted me to a higher plane of what Oscar Wilde called the “temperament of receptivity.”

This, of course, is not an uncommon experience — both the tendency to treat illness as an abstraction until it befalls the concreteness of our body-minds, and the sense of not merely renewed but elevated mental and creative faculties coming out on the other end of a physically and mentally draining stretch. But no one has articulated this odd tradeoff more masterfully than…

View original: Roald Dahl on How Illness Emboldens Creativity: A Moving Letter to His Bedridden Mentor | Brain Pickings.


Kelly Campbell has been sculpting books since 2011 and uses nothing more than whatever is in the pages of the book its self. The words, illustrations and page numbers. So let me take you on a journey of what I think are her 10 very best works of art…

Continue reading: Top 10 Amazing Book Sculptures by Kelly Campbell.


First Night Design

Proserpina in Pluto's Palace

Proserpina in Pluto’s Palace by First Night Vintage

“I shall not touch it, I assure you,” said she. Thus runs the quote for this illustration by the American artist Virginia Frances Sterrett that depicts the goddess Proserpina in Pluto’s palace rejecting his offer of pomegranate seeds. The illustration was one of several undertaken by Sterrett for Nathaniel Hawthorne’s adaptation of six Greek myths. These were published by the Penn Publishing Company in 1921 as Tanglewood Tales. The Pomegranate Seeds recounts the tale of Roman goddess Proserpina, or Persephone in Greece, and how she ultimately succumbs, thus creating seasonal changes. Like all myths, there are various versions. If you want to find out more, click here. To read about the life of Virginia Frances Sterrett, who had barely reached her 30s before tuberculosis cut her down, click here.

The image comes from  the Old Book Art Gallery

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JoUnwin

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I love getting post.  I love getting signed contracts, proof copies, invitations to parties… and I love receiving unsolicited submissions, because there is always the possibility that one of them is going to change the course of my career (and the author’s, obviously!)

I don’t think I’m alone amongst Literary Agents when I say that the working day starts the moment I wake up and check my phone for overnight emails from abroad, or early risers, or night owls – and there are always several.  I’m certainly not alone when I say that the working day ends when I turn off my bedside light.  

If you follow this blog, you’ll know that I absolutely love my job, but there is never enough time.  I would love to be able to hold down a full time job, and read four or more novels a night, but sadly that is not possible.  I have a…

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I have shelves and shelves of books, as you might expect, many of which are of vintage ilk. These include not just the ones I’ve bought over the years but delicious editions of books for children that I’ve inherited and that were published in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Some of them belonged to my mother and to her mother before that. I have early 20th century editions of E. Nesbit’s fabulous tales from The Railway Children to The House of Arden  and Harding’s Luck; I have late 19th century copies of Alice in Wonderland as well as Lewis Carroll’s lesser known work, Sylvie and Bruno. I have much else besides!

The Children’s Book of London by G E Mitton (Geraldine Edith) was published in 1903 by A & C Black, now part of Bloomsbury Publishing. There are three books in all: London As it Is, for which the above image is the cover and is the only one in the series that I own, Historical Stories and The Sights of London.


Chapter VIII
Streets and Shops

“When I asked a little girl who was visiting London for the first time if it was like what she had expected, she said, ‘No,’ and when I asked how it differed from the idea she had had, she said: ‘I expected to see long rows and rows of houses, going on for miles and miles, but I never thought there would be so many things in the streets—cabs and omnibuses and people; it’s all so much fuller and gayer than I thought.'”


G. E. Mitton and J. G. Scott in the early 1930s [Wikipedia]

G. E. Mitton and J. G. Scott in the early 1930s [Wikipedia]

Geraldine Mitton was an English novelist, biographer, editor, and guide-book writer who was married to the Scottish journalist and colonial administrator, Sir George Scott, who helped establish British colonial rule in Burma. They collaborated on several works of fiction set in Burma. She was, in fact, his third wife. I note, however, that mention of the two previous wives – did they die? – is nowhere made on Scott’s entry in Wikipedia.

You learn something every day!

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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