Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Encyclopedia of the Exquisite: An Anecdotal History of Elegant Delights Hardcover – Deckle Edge, November 2, 2010
Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
"A delightful ode to everyday elegance that brims with tales showing how beauty can be found in the most unlikely places. Encyclopedia of the Exquisite has the potential to make our lives that much more interesting. It left me truly inspired."
—Sarah Jessica Parker
"A beautifully researched and written book. Every story — whether on the origins of badminton or the art of Renaissance sotleties — is fascinating and inspiring. I kept turning the page, wanting to learn more."
"A wonderful mélange of chic and amusing tidbits — this book makes me smile."
“Jenkins’s wittily curated selection emphasizes the rare and not often considered, with a dash of Julie Andrews’s ‘favorite things’ sensibility. . . . There are enough fancies in Encyclopedia of the Exquisite to fill a castle of your own. It is a worthy trove.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“A select showcase of the unusual, the piquant and the frankly bizarre, enthusiastically researched and displayed with élan. . . . There is plenty to enlighten even the most world-weary terrestrial, not least in the form of new angles on some of our most comfortable clichés.”
—The Wall Street Journal
“Certainly one of the more unusual books you'll come upon this season, the Encyclopedia of the Exquisite is an attractive compendium of literary sketches on unusual topics that appeal to one's sense of fancy. Random, unexpected, charming—the alphabetized entries in this ‘History’ are the perfect addition to any lady's bedside table this winter.”
—The Free Lance-Star
“I admit that it was the design of this book that first led me to pick it up; I was drawn to its unconventional, squarish trim size and glittering, red-etched cover. But, once it was in my hands, this odd, precious little object had me totally absorbed. . . . Jenkins has channeled her obsession into an idiosyncratic catalogue of the good things in life: hot-air ballooning, Champagne, top hats. Each item is explicated in a vignette just a few pages long, shaded with lovely observations.”
—The New Republic
“Encyclopedia of the Exquisite lives up to its unique premise . . . interesting and entertaining. [Jenkins takes] the reader on a fanciful tour. . . . Her goal is to assemble a collection that describes beauty of all kinds, interesting, affordable and, as collections of miscellany often are, eccentric. In this she succeeds, and Encyclopedia of the Exquisite is both attractive and addictive. It is certainly catnip for the trivia-besotted, but it also is a work that can easily be read in short bursts, and reread as the whim dictates. With its accompanying rich bibliography, it also provides an excellent starting point for the further pursuit of any of its myriad topics.”
—The Denver Post
"A stylish little index of the facts you never knew you absolutely needed to know about one hundred of the most wonderful things in life—from frilly lingerie and champagne to dining al fresco to trapezes."
"This gilded, graceful book is nothing less than a miniature encyclopedia of style, exploring everything from the origins of badminton to the art of origami to Louis XIV's love of the Bartlett pear."
"A gallimaufry of curious and unusual entries, it's full of charm and erudition."
Top Customer Reviews
Most of us just enjoy seeing and indulging in things that appeal to us. Jessica Kerwin Jenkins has more curiosity than that. She memorializes the experiences and in this book has shared with us a little light learning about her fascinations.Read more ›
I'm having to force myself to read only a little at a time to make it last longer, like I'd do with a fancy bar of chocolate. I'm already wondering if she'll consider a second volume, as I am now noticing exquisite things all around me that I'd love to know the story of. I know I'll be giving copies to friends for years to come, beginning with this Christmas!
My mother-in-law is a successful artist and her style is definitely eclectic. She is a voracious reader. My son recently proposed to his girlfriend who is a lovely young woman who works supporting the arts and has a very strong artistic talent and interest. Due to distance, we haven't seen them as much as we'd like so I was kind of still on the learning curve as to her likes/dislikes.
Solution: Bought two copies; looked them over when they got here and thought they exceeded my expectations.
Result: Two home runs! Both recipients were enamored with their gifts! I think I would have enjoyed reading it also, but they were gift wrapped quickly upon arrival so only a cursory glance was possible. I may have some time in my schedule after the Super Bowl & March Madness so I may ask to borrow one back.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's my current Great White Throne book, and often I stay on the throne longer than I have to just to finish up the interesting tidbit of probably useless info (and still gets a... Read morePublished 3 months ago by thewhitespace
Beautiful book, perfect for rainy day reading. Makes an excellent gift for the aesthetes in your life!Published 4 months ago by Gabrielle
Not my book--bought it as a gift--so can't say how good it actually is, but quality of the books seemed ok. If the person I gave it too loves it, I'll try to update this review.Published 6 months ago by Schneb
This is one of the most interesting books you will ever read. I decided to read an item each night and have been amazed by her choices and the extraordinary research done. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Wandy