‘Strawberries, and only strawberries, could now be thought or spoken of. “The best fruit in England — every body’s favourite — always wholesome. — These the finest beds and finest sorts. — Delightful to gather for one’s self — the only way of really enjoying them — delicious fruit — only too rich to be eaten much of — inferior to cherries — currants more refreshing — only objection to gathering strawberries the stooping — glaring sun . . .”’
We’re celebrating the beginning of summer with Emma Woodhouse, Mr Knightley and Mrs Elton as they wander among the strawberry beds. This woodcut of the delicious fruit was created by Simon Brett for his illustrated book The Fruits of Jane Austen, and appeared on the contents page of Issue 42, Summer 2014.
About the contributor
Simon Brett was born in Windsor in 1943 and studied as a painter at Saint Martin’s School of Art. He moved on to wood engraving while teaching at Marlborough College Art School. Between 1981 and 1988, he published books under his own Paulinus Press imprint, and won the Francis Williams Illustration Award for The Animals of Saint Gregory. Since then he has worked as a self-employed artist, and has illustrated classic works for The Folio Society including Jane Eyre, Middlemarch and the poetry of Keats, Shelley and Byron. He was Chairman of The Society of Wood Engravers until 1992, and remains closely associated with it. He also writes on the history, practice and condition of the art, and his book Wood Engraving — How To Do It was published in 1994.
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