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“An intriguing, evocative aesthetic experience. A lyrical, meditative rumination on art and the blossoming beauty of self that can be the gift of age and love.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Poet Peacock's hymn to Delany weaves in her own life and discovery of her subject.” ―Publishers Weekly
“If ever a subject and a biographer shared a sensibility, it is the bond between esteemed poet Peacock and the artist Mary Granville Pendarves Delany (1700–1788)… In this lapidary work of creative immersion, Peacock does with words what Delany did with scissors and paper, consummately constructing an indelible portrait of a late-blooming artist, an exalted inquiry into creativity, and a resounding celebration of the ‘power of amazement.'” ―Booklist, starred review
“This book layers Delany's life and work over Peacock's. It is organized by flower ― forget-me-not, thistle, poppy, etc., each a metaphor for a different phase in Delany's life. In this way, the book itself is a complicated, delicate and beautiful collage.” ―Los Angeles Times
“[A] remarkable biography.” ―More
“Affecting and engaging, Peacock's own candor combines with Delany's wit and honesty to prove that it is never too late to make a life for oneself and to be sustained by art. VERDICT: This marvelous 'mosaick' makes an indelible impression.” ―Library Journal, starred review
“[A] fascinating and beautifully made biography … It is filled with wonderfully detailed information about history and art―from the dog wheel that churned butter to the way rag paper was made… [Peacock is] interested in the pathway to art―how Mary's interests in gardening and collecting, and her practice in needlework and painting, laid the groundwork for that moment of revelation… Possessed of a discerning eye, Peacock…lavishes attention on Mary's life, both social and artistic, drenching us in vivid, sensory language as if we were adrift in champagne. The Paper Garden is perfect for the art lover, and for the reader who revels in rich digressive layers that imitate the contours of our lives.” ―Cleveland Plain Dealer
“In this lush, humane book, noted poet Molly Peacock shows a terrific hand for crafting prose as she delves into the life of Mary Delany… Peacock bravely uses her exploration of Delany to sidestep or upend the conventional place of the feminine, the craftsy, the domestic… Just as Delany makes a cosmos out of flowers, Peacock makes a cosmos out of her interest in Delany's world. In a remarkable act of observation, recuperation, and assemblage, Peacock weaves her own collage--cutting between Mary Granville's early life and times, her later flowering into art, and Peacock's own journey as a 21st century sympathizer with Mary's loves and ambitions. What emerges is fascinating both because it is surprisingly and keenly observed… To call this book small or quiet would be somehow to belittle what Peacock has so beautifully magnified and made resonant--the triumph of art as a human pursuit, and the curious webs from which both art and craft spring. This book is not flashy, but it is one of the more beautifully constructed and deeply engrossing books I have read in some time. It is a keen reminder of what the fruits of vivid watching--and passionate living--can offer.” ―Barnes & Noble Review
I liked the premise, but I found it too slow and uninterestingPublished 2 months ago by Catherine B
A beautiful book! Read it from the local library. Loved it and had to have my own copy.Published 6 months ago by MARIE T HORWATH
I felt that this was a very flawed book, but am happy that I stuck with it to the end. The DNA of this book has three strands: it is a biography of Mary Delaney; an analysis of... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Janice M. Stewart
Wonderful book. Beautiful illustrations. Great story. Gift for someone who will love it as much as I do.Published 10 months ago by Kathryn Murray