Mrs. Delany: Her Life and Her Flowers - Ruth HaydenLondon: Colonnade Books, 1988, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Just a hint of fading to the spine of the dust wrapper. Gift inscription to the blank. The contents complete, clean and tight otherwise.
4th impression, first published 1980. Includes: Further reading list; Colour plates; Black & white plates; Colour frontispiece;
From the cover: “At an age when most people’s powers are declining, Mrs Mary Delany, one of the most remarkable personalities of the eighteenth century, was embarking on her finest work of all. Between the ages of seventy-three and eighty-two she created nearly 1000 pictures of flowers, many made from hundreds of pieces of coloured paper, and put together ‘with a precision and truth unparalleled’ as Horace Walpole said. They were the crowning achievement of a long creative life, during which she produced exquisite embroidery, decorative shellwork and delicate landscape sketches, all inspired by her love of nature and of flowers especially.
In this most entertaining biography Ruth Hayden recaptures through Mrs Delany’s amusing and perceptive letters the atmosphere of the eighteenth century in England and Ireland. Married at seven-teen to a man forty years older, she was released by his death to enjoy nineteen years in the glitter of London’s Society before Dr Delany, an Irish clergyman, lured her to the quieter pleasures of Ireland. On his death she returned to London and took her place as a highly respected member of the social and cultured elite. Politicians, explorers, artists, botanists and musicians came frequently to her door and she became a much-loved friend of George m and Queen Charlotte. Witty, intellectual, artistic, accomplished and charming, she was, as Edmund Burke said ‘the highest-bred woman in the world, and the woman of fashion of all ages’.
This lavishly illustrated story of her life and art includes thirty colour reproductions of her flower collages, which are now in the British Museum.”