Showing posts from May, 2012

Ode to a Victorian Gardener and Poetess: Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

“If we love flowers are we not born again every Day", Emily Dickinson to Mrs. George S. Dickerman, 1 886 One of the earliest gifts my mother gave me was a book of poems by Emily Dickinson. It was a hardcover gold leafed paged coral and pine green designed book entitled, ' Collected Poems Of Emily Dickinson' . I was ten years old and the first poem to stand out in my memory was: I'm nobody!  Who are you? Are you nobody, too?   Then there's a pair of us -- don't tell;  They'd banish us, you know. How dreary to be somebody! How public, like a frog To tell your name the livelong day To an admiring bog! As you can tell, I was born a pessimist with optimistic yearnings! I leafed through my treasured, well-worn hardcover today and page numbers with favorite poems were circled and my ten year old self made notes in the margins. My mom would be proud, indeed!  So it is with great love and a deep abiding admiration for one o

A Review of The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Product Details Hardcover: 336 pages Publisher: Ballantine Books; First Edition edition (August 23, 2011) Language: English ISBN-10: 034552554X ISBN-13: 978-0345525543   Book Synopsis  I feel it's only fair to warn you, dear reader, that Vanessa Diffenbaugh's central character, Victoria Jones, is going to break your heart three ways from Sunday. She's also going to make you want to pick her up, shake her and scream, why can’t you let yourself be happy ? But for Victoria, the answer is as complex as the question is simple. She's spent her childhood ricocheting through countless foster and group homes, and the experience has left her in pieces. Painfully isolated and deeply mistrustful, she cares only about flowers and their meanings. She herself is like a thistle, a wall of hard-earned thorns. When we first encounter Victoria, it's the day of her emancipation from foster care, her eighteenth birthday. "Emancipation" couldn't be

Event Update: Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde Preview Exhibition

This evening I had the pleasure of attending a Pre-Raphaelite themed lecture event at the English Speaking Union followed by a wine and cheese reception. I just wanted to share some lecture information for anyone who may be interested. I will be sharing several links: one link to the Tate Britain site itself for museum details, one link to the related organization Historians of British Art which one of the lectures and prominent Pre-Raphaelite biographer is affiliated with Mr. Peter Trippi. When you click the link for Historians of British Art, look to the right hand side for Events and click on the first event listng New York Conversation. When you do so, a pdf file will ask to be downloaded. I advise you to download, save, and read the attachment because it gives a very specific run down and overview of the upcoming Tate Britain Pre-Raphaelite exhibit and lecture event that took place tonight:   Event Details for tonight's lecture:   Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde - Th

A Review of Hilary Mantel's Bring Up The Bodies

Product Details Hardcover: 432 pages Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.; First Edition edition (May 8, 2012) Language: English ISBN-10: 0805090037 ISBN-13: 978-0805090031 In Hilary Mantel's Own Words " Bring Up the Bodies is the second part of my trilogy about Thomas Cromwell, chief minister to Henry VIII. I have been interested in Cromwell for years, and wanted to get beyond the negative portrayal of him in popular history and fiction. He was a ruthless man, certainly, but no more so than other contemporary politicians; and in Henry, a man of violent temper, he had a very demanding employer. As soon as you get back beyond the prejudices about Cromwell, you find a clever, enterprising, resilient and optimistic man, with a story well worth telling. He was at the center of Henry's court for almost ten years, and when you look at events from his point of view, they seem very different from the stories of the Tudor court to which we've grown accustomed.

A review of Mrs.Robinson's Disgrace The Private Diary of a Victorian Lady by Kate Summerscale

Product details Hardcover: 320 pages Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (30 April 2012) Language English ISBN-10: 140881241X ISBN-13: 978-1408812419   Overview On a mild winter's evening in 1850, Isabella Robinson set out for a party. Her carriage bumped across the wide cobbled streets of Edinburgh's Georgian New Town and drew up at 8 Royal Circus, a grand sandstone house lit by gas lamps. This was the home of the rich widow Lady Drysdale, a vivacious hostess whose soirees were the centre of an energetic intellectual scene. Lady Drysdale's guests were gathered in the high, airy drawing rooms on the first floor, the ladies in dresses of glinting silk and satin, bodices pulled tight over boned corsets; the gentlemen in tailcoats, waistcoats, neckties and pleated shirt fronts, dark narrow trousers and shining shoes. When Mrs Robinson joined the throng she was introduced to Lady Drysdale's daughter and son-in-law, Mary and Edward La