Gwen Raverat, Period Piece
Gwen Raverat is best-known for her glorious wood engravings, but in her childhood memoir Period Piece she created a perfect small masterpiece of another kind – a deliciously funny, affectionate and atmospheric picture of life in the small world of nineteenth-century academic Cambridge among the eccentric Darwin clan. Illustrated with Gwen’s own delightful drawings, it not only brilliantly captures a moment in time but also shows us the making of the artist Gwen was to become.
E. H. Shepard, Drawn from Memory & Drawn from Life
The much-loved artist Ernest Shepherd, whose delicate and humorous illustrations will forever define the characters of Winnie-the-Pooh, and Mole, Ratty and Toad in Wind in the Willows, grew up in London as the 19th century faded into the 20th. In Drawn from Memory, he tells, in words and enchanting pictures, the story of his happy middle-class childhood, beginning in 1887, the year of the Golden Jubilee when Ernest was 8 and already determined to be an artist like his father. Drawn from Life opens with the tragic death of his mother when he was 10 and describes the family’s brave recovery, Ernest’s time at the Royal Academy Schools, and his happy marriage to a fellow artist. Together these two small volumes form a vivid canvas filled with the vision of a gentler, more leisurely world which makes one long to return to it.
Between the Lines
It is hard to know whether it is the featherlight words of A. A. Milne or the airy ‘decorations’ of E. H. Shepard that everyone has ever since loved the more, so perfect was their partnership ....Read more
For almost a decade there’s been one particular book we’ve been longing to reissue. Now at last, as we reach our tenth anniversary, we’ve got the opportunity to do so. When I wrote about it...Read more