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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The paper garden
A biography with a difference; Molly Peacock inserts autobiographical references of her own, with which I was uncomfortable, and she also makes comparisons between the cut-paper mosaicks and Mary Delany's emotional state at the time she created them, equating thorns with personal pain, and so on. This conceit works rather better, as it is easier to imagine MD choosing to...
Published on 1 July 2011 by Mrs Curzon Tussaud

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Paper garden
I was disappointed with this book. I found the merging and comparison of the author's experience with that of Mrs Delany awkward and contrived. However it does have some beautiful illustrations.
Published on 9 Sep 2011 by Gwen


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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The paper garden, 1 July 2011
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Mrs Curzon Tussaud (London, U.K.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Paper Garden: Mrs Delany Begins Her Life's Work at 72 (Hardcover)
A biography with a difference; Molly Peacock inserts autobiographical references of her own, with which I was uncomfortable, and she also makes comparisons between the cut-paper mosaicks and Mary Delany's emotional state at the time she created them, equating thorns with personal pain, and so on. This conceit works rather better, as it is easier to imagine MD choosing to cut out the petals, stem and leaves of a rose, for example, when she was longing to stick something sharp into another's side!

Mary Delany is one of my favourite historical characters, her life almost spanning the 18th century, and managing in that time to meet many of the major players at Court and in artistic circles. She was a voluminous correspondent, and one who only found her major artistic stride after her second widowhood, and after the loss of her sister to whom she wrote very regularly. I thoroughly enjoyed this biography but think it would be improved without the personal references.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Paper garden, 9 Sep 2011
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This review is from: The Paper Garden: Mrs Delany Begins Her Life's Work at 72 (Hardcover)
I was disappointed with this book. I found the merging and comparison of the author's experience with that of Mrs Delany awkward and contrived. However it does have some beautiful illustrations.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars biography of Mrs Delaney, 10 Aug 2011
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DGM (Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Paper Garden: Mrs Delany Begins Her Life's Work at 72 (Hardcover)
A beautifully produced book - elegant typefaces, quality paper, beautiful cover design - makes you realise that despite all the ipads and kindles, books will always have a place in our lives. Well written too, slightly tongue-in-cheek transatlantic style, but all the more readable for that. Such a pity it was printed in China, oh well, can't have everything I suppose. DM
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sing hey for romanticism!, 3 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Paper Garden: Mrs Delany Begins Her Life's Work at 72 (Hardcover)
I whizzed through this book in under a week. Physically the book is a thing of beauty - heavy paper, strong typeface, wide margins and high quality illustrations. Content-wise its also a thing of beauty. Mrs Delany's story is told with an unapologetic curtsey towards romance. The author weaves her own personal memoir through that of her subject, and while some may find this intrusive, personally I found it fresh and interesting, a way of inserting an occasional pause for breath and reflection in the story being told. The central conceit is that the major incidents in Mrs Delany's life had an impact, knowing or unknowing, on her famous paper collages. Sometimes the link is obvious, sometimes more tenuous, but those with a romantic turn of mind can see the link clearly. Other reviewers have pointed out that sometimes these links are somewhat overblown or shoe-horned in, and maybe sometimes they are. But everyone's life is bettered by a little romanticism now and again, and this book provides it. From a 21st century viewpoint, the 18th century was an incredibly romantic age (more so than the 19th, when the Victorians just slobbered over everything to nauseating excess). The author provides a sharp, detailed view of 18th century daily life - how people dressed, how they travelled, how they related to their families, how they filled their hours - which provides an interesting background to the story of Mrs Delany and what she did.

Because Mrs. D began her "great work" very late in life, there is a tendency for books about her to run along the lines of "she was born in 17xx, did this, this, this and this and then when she was 74 started making paper mosaics". This book keeps the flower portraits firmly at the centre of the story and clearly in the reader's sights all the way through, which is refreshing and novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating read, 28 Dec 2012
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This review is from: The Paper Garden: Mrs Delany Begins Her Life's Work at 72 (Hardcover)
I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in arts and crafts, and whose creativity is burgeoning in their later years!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Paper Garden. by Molly Peacock, 11 Dec 2012
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This review is from: The Paper Garden: Mrs Delany Begins Her Life's Work at 72 (Hardcover)
This book is a wonder to behold - or rather the story of Mrs Delany is. Beautifly written and published.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too distracting, 4 Jun 2012
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This review is from: The Paper Garden: Mrs Delany Begins Her Life's Work at 72 (Hardcover)
This book is beautifully produced, with lovely high quality illustrations, thick smooth paper and very good binding. Unfortunately, the author's style of combining her own life events with those of Mrs Delany was not for me. I found it distracted from the very interesting tales of Mrs Delany and her varied circle of friends and acquaintances. The sexual references in the descriptions of the paper flowers were too over the top for me, and I gave up about half way through.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hardback edition, 16 Mar 2013
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This review is from: The Paper Garden: Mrs Delany Begins Her Life's Work at 72 (Hardcover)
I wanted a hardback copy of this book to keep for future reference. It's a fascinating read and an unusual subject. It arrived promptly and well packaged and in the condition described by the seller.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting reading, 4 Aug 2011
This review is from: The Paper Garden: Mrs Delany Begins Her Life's Work at 72 (Hardcover)
I have read other books about Mrs Delany but this is written from a different perspective as the author relates different aspects of her own life to Mrs Delany's. The flower pictures are wonderful. Mrs Delany was an interesting person who lived a very varied life. The book does justice to her.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Paper Flower Power, 13 Aug 2011
By 
Mr. Robert W. Bleach (U.K.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Paper Garden: Mrs Delany Begins Her Life's Work at 72 (Hardcover)
The pictures in the book are second to none, and show what a talented, albeit "late bloomer" Mrs. Delany was.
The pictures are all collages made from small paper strips, carefully chosen for their colours and textures, and at first glance are merely photographic renderings of paintings.
A closer examination shows the complexity with which the flowers and leaves are assembled.
The biography running through the book is also very interesting
The Paper Garden: Mrs Delany Begins Her Life's Work at 72
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The Paper Garden: Mrs Delany Begins Her Life's Work at 72
The Paper Garden: Mrs Delany Begins Her Life's Work at 72 by Molly Peacock (Hardcover - 4 July 2011)
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