This post is for those of you who get excited entering a book shop, the kind of bookshop you know you will love from the moment you pass through the threshold. You know that feeling, when you look to the left, to the right, look up, look down and know your day has just been made? It almost feels like you are in a trance, wandering from section to section, surveying the store as you would a new found home. Book covers catch your eye, book titles lure you in, you hesitate...should you start in this section or over in that section? You look at your watch...do you have enough time to do it all? You want to absorb every little inch of it, you want to lose yourself in story after story. You want to reach out and touch everything, you want to own this bookshop!
Ok...perhaps I am getting a little carried away, but I found a bookshop just like that in Richmond, outside of London. It was meant to be a quick in and out of High Street, I did not have much time. I found the bookshop at the end of our trip, the clock was ticking and we had to move on. I now eagerly await the chance to visit this bookshop again. If you have a chance to visit Richmond, check out The Open Book on 10 King Street in Richmond TW9 1ND.
But....before I left the shop, I did manage to come upon one lovely delight... The Paper Garden... Mrs. Delany (Begins her Life's Work) at 72, written by Molly Peacock. Isn't it gorgeous!
Love this!......click here
Product Description via Amazon UK
Mary Delany was seventy-two years old when she noticed a petal drop from a geranium. In a flash of inspiration, she picked up her scissors and cut out a paper replica of the petal, inventing the art of collage. It was the summer of 1772, in England. During the next ten years she completed nearly a thousand cut-paper botanicals (which she called mosaicks) so accurate that botanists still refer to them. Poet-biographer Molly Peacock uses close-ups of these brilliant collages in The Paper Garden to track the extraordinary life of Delany, friend of Swift, Handel, Hogarth, and even Queen Charlotte and King George III. How did this remarkable role model for late blooming manage it? After a disastrous teenage marriage to a drunken sixty-one-year-old squire, she took control of her own life, pursuing creative projects, spurning suitors and gaining friends. At forty-three, she married Jonathan Swift's friend Dr. Patrick Delany, and lived in Ireland in a true expression of midlife love. But after twenty-five years and a terrible lawsuit, her husband died. Sent into a netherland of mourning, Mrs Delany was rescued by her friend, the fabulously wealthy Duchess of Portland. The Duchess introduced Delany to the botanical adventurers of the day and a bonanza of exotic plants from Captain Cook's voyage, which became the inspiration for her art. Peacock herself first saw Mrs Delany's work more than twenty years before she wrote The Paper Garden, but 'like a book you know is too old for you', she put the thought of the old woman away. She went on to marry and cherish the happiness of her own midlife, in a parallel to Mrs. Delany, and by chance rediscovered the mosaicks decades later. This encounter confronted the poet with her own aging and gave her-and her readers-a blueprint for late-life flexibility, creativity, and change.
The illustrations inside the book are wonderful as well....this book would make a great gift..all tied up in a red bow.... Best wishes to one and all for a lovely week ahead... I hope it is filled with wonderful stories, whether they be ones you read or of your own making. :)