The Paper Garden: Mrs Delany Begins Her Life's Work at 72


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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 ...

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Aug 4, 2012

An unusually intimate biography

A physically, emotionally and poetically beautiful book, this double memoir is an extraordinarily creative and original work of art. The life of a 17th century lady of fashion, Mary Delany who became an immensely original artist, is illustrated with amazing reproductions of her work, and the patterns in her work serve to illustrate the patterns in her life, as well as in the life of the author
I have never read anything like this. It is the best non-fiction I've read this year.

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