Mrs. Delaney: Her Life and Her Flowers

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"The highest-bred woman in the world, and the woman of fashion of all ages." So Edmund Burke spoke of the witty and charming Mrs. Mary Delany, one of the most remarkable personalities of the eighteenth century. Her "paper mosaicks," beautiful flowers made with hundreds of pieces of colored paper, and put together, as Horace Walpole wrote, "with a precision and truth unparalleled," were the crowning achievement of her long and creative life. Indeed, so accurate were they, that the great botanist Sir Joseph Banks said that he could identify the

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Book shows minor use. Cover and Binding have minimal wear and the pages have only minimal creases. A tradition of southern quality and service. All books guaranteed at the Atlanta ... Book Company. Our mailers are 100% recyclable. Read more Show Less

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New York, NY 1993 Hard cover first US edition Good in good dust jacket. Ex-library. Ex-library with usual stamps and markings. Color portrait as frontispiece. Text is completely ... clean and unmarked. Binding tight. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 192 p. Contains: 45 color and 100 B&W plates throughout. First published in the USA in 1993 by arrangement with British Museum Press. All proceeds benefit the Burlingame Public Library Read more Show Less

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Overview

"The highest-bred woman in the world, and the woman of fashion of all ages." So Edmund Burke spoke of the witty and charming Mrs. Mary Delany, one of the most remarkable personalities of the eighteenth century. Her "paper mosaicks," beautiful flowers made with hundreds of pieces of colored paper, and put together, as Horace Walpole wrote, "with a precision and truth unparalleled," were the crowning achievement of her long and creative life. Indeed, so accurate were they, that the great botanist Sir Joseph Banks said that he could identify the plant species with certainty from her work. Amazingly, she was 72 before she embarked on the 1000 flower collages, but she had already made a name with her exquisite works of embroidery, decorative shellwork, landscape sketches, and portraits. Through a study of Mrs. Delany's correspondence, spanning her eventful life, Ruth Hayden recaptures the atmosphere of privileged society in eighteenth-century England. Mrs. Delany's lively and perceptive letters to her sister Anne and her niece Mary reveal her often strong views on the events of the period and the life of her circle. Mention of luminaries of social, political, and artistic life enliven her correspondence. She was a friend of Handel and a correspondent of Swift. Her friendship with the Duchess of Portland brought her into contact with some of the greatest botanical artists and botanists of the time. She became a much-loved friend of George III and Queen Charlotte, who took great interest in her work. Since the first publication of this book in England in 1980, Ruth Hayden has discovered much further material relating to Mrs. Delany, which is incorporated in this new edition. The author has made a complete list of all the known paper collages with botanical details. New color illustrations of the flowers reveal the astonishing complexity of the artist's work.

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Editorial Reviews

Alice Joyce
Hayden surveys numerous letters by Mary Delany to re-create the life of this well-bred lady in eighteenth-century England. In so doing, this distant relative of Delany presents a lively and perceptive account of life among the nobility, full of insights into the ways of English society and the ups and downs of noble fortunes. Hayden also succeeds admirably in achieving her goal to bring due attention to Delany's artistic activities--from fine examples of embroidery, shellwork, and drawings to the lovely and intricate cut-paper flower collages completed in her later years. The collages reproduced here exhibit fascinating botanical variety and beauty and should be a pleasing discovery for flower lovers.
Booknews
First published in England in 1980 and now enhanced with new material, including new color plates, this work brings to light the life and artistic accomplishments of an extraordinary artist of the 18th century. Mrs. Delany was 72 before she began work on the 1,000 flower collages--now housed in the British museum--that brought acclaim from eminent botanists of the time, but she had already made a name with other works of art. Her correspondence, heavily quoted, provides lively commentary on the events of the period and the life of privileged society. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781561310616
  • Publisher: Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
  • Publication date: 4/21/1998
  • Edition description: 2ND REP
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 190
  • Product dimensions: 7.59 (w) x 9.95 (h) x 0.88 (d)

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