Saturday, April 6, 2013

A Brighter Garden~First Friday Tasha Tudor Book Review (Late)

As Spring has sprung, I thought it would be nice to feature A BRIGHTER GARDEN this month for my April First Friday Tasha Tudor Book Review. Yes, I know it's Saturday and last night as I was trying to fall asleep, I realized that I had forgotten to write my review! Too many things happening this week with the cottage and preparing for the quilt retreat. So, here is is, just a day late.

This is an interesting book and I learned a lot doing the research for it. It's really about 3 women....Karen Ackerman, Tasha Tudor and Emily Dickenson.

Karen Ackerman collected the poems for this book. She is a author of children's books herself.She has published 25 books so far and is still working.

Let's discuss the book as it applies to Tasha. She did 22 large oval watercolors and 6 smaller oval water colors for the book. It was published in 1990 to celebrate the first publication of a book of poems by Emily Dickenson. I love the oval pictures! The book is divided into the four seasons as Emily Dickenson was fascinated with nature and the connection between humans. It includes 23 poems. Tasha's drawings are beautiful. Some are a bit dark and not as detailed, as you may notice in her books. I have often wondered if she hurried at times to meet deadlines. The book was published by Philomel Books of NY and measures 10 1/4" x 8 3/4" and is a lovely book for your collection.
As it is spring, here's a poem in the SPRING section from the book. "The Dandelion's pallid tube Astonishes the Grass, And Winter instantly becomes An infinite Alas...." The yards around here are full of dandelions, so this seems perfect!

I have to confess that I didn't really know a great deal about Emily Dickenson. She was born in 1830 in Amherst, Massachusetts and died in 1886. She spent most of her life writing letters and poems in her family home and like many of the writers at the time, she didn't was pretty tied to her home. She never married.

She wrote about 1800 poems and only a few were published during her life time. After her death, her sister Lavinia (love the name) found a box of over 900 untouched poems. In 1880, these some of these poems were used in the first book of Emily Dickenson's poems to be published. POEMS OF EMILY DICKENSON was publised by Robert Brothers of Boston.

There is an Emily Dickenson Museum to visit and if I get back to New England, I would love to go there! It's complete with two homes on the family property. The HOMESTEAD is the house that Emily grew up in and The EVERGREENS is her brother Austin and his wife Susan's home where they raised three children. I will take more time to explore the family and it's history.

I have to chuckle at myself when I do these reports. I learn so much that I never knew about Tasha and the other people who were involved with putting her books together. I never knew much about Emily Dickenson and my face is red as I confess I never knew she was from New England. It makes sense now that Tasha would have been interested to illustrate a book of her poems.

I hope you enjoyed the review. Have those of you who live on the East coast been to the museum?


Lady Jane said...

Lovely post Linda. I learned so much. I lived in MA years ago and I must confess never did I go to Emily Dickenson place but maybe someday....

Zaa said...

Dearest Lady Linda ...

What a delightful review...Emily Dickinson is also one of my favourites... and I gleaned so much information from this charing post. OMG how I would love to visit her abode...I just adore historical tours and readings..... Thank you my friend, for filling my day with renewed thoughts of her beautiful prose. Have a blessed day !!!! HUGS

Jane said...

I love Tasha's illustrations, but I have noticed that the quality of them declined as she got older. A good example is the second Corgiville book. The first one done in 1971 has crisp, clear illustrations. The second corgiville book, done in 1997, has blurry, vague illustrations. Still charming, but well past her prime. The first was done when she was 56, at probably the height of her skills, the second when she was 82. Her eyesight was fading and I'm sure she had no idea the illustrations were not as clear. But I find the same to be true with my handsewing. Things I did 20 years ago are actually much better sewn. Now my eyes and my fingers are not capable of doing as fine work. :)


Karen Frost said...

Wonderful post about this very lovely book! I grew up in Mass. and I actually visited Amherst college for a week in high school and we never went to the museum - how sad am I? The illustration from the book is so lovely and the information about Emily Dickinson is very interesting. She was very pretty, how sad she never married. Hope you have a lovely weekend, Linda, and thanks for sharing. Hugs xoxo

Kathryn Ross said...

Oh! What I miss when I'm not wandering about in Blogland! You have some very interesting posts recently and I love this one about Tasha and Emily! A great combination of poetry in brushstroke and word! Trying to catch up! Posted today - will again soon!

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

What a charming review - I've always loved both of these ladies - a perfect duet. Thank you for sharing - I must be off to find the book.