Title: Handwritten and Illustrated Family History
Publisher: c. 1950, Worsthorne, Lancashire
Publication Date: 1950
Book Condition: Fine
Black, white, red, and gilt decorative Christmas paper over boards; 185 x 273 mm; pp. , handwritten in ink, with more than 20 drawings and watercolors, including vignettes, decorative flourishes, and full-page scenes. A florid, orderly, feminine hands records a very personal account of her childhood memories and family history, composed in hindsight, and lamenting "the present world. [of] H. Bombs, Nuclear Tests, Atomic Secrets, Radioactivity, planes hurling through the air with deafening noise. The levity of my sketch, Wordsorth, forgive, for, like you, 'Have I not reason to lament what man has made of man?'" She also references "peace time," making it clear that she has some familiarity with war, and this is perhaps why the entire volume is a careful balancing act between a retreat to the past (told cheerfully, as though to a child) and a more somber rumination on her present. The artwork is invariably accomplished -- ranging from lovely floral themes, animals, portraits of children (and one of Queen Elizabeth), landscapes, and family houses, to somewhat fantastical renderings of human forms floating in the air. She also carefully draws and colors two pictorial maps of locales she recalls from her youth, and tips on 2 photographs (b/w silver gelatin prints) of her grandmother's shawl and bonnet, and 1 photograph of a broadside advertising the auction of her uncle's (John Crowther) sheep and sheep dogs. John, her fatherís younger brother, died in 1887 after being struck by lightning. The family sells his home, Jacksonís House, in Worsthorne, in 1888, and moves north, leaving their convent education for the Home Farm of Ormrod House, belonging to her great grandmother. Photographs were printed in Cheriton, Folkestone. Locations on her maps include the River Douglas, Rufford, Parbold, Lathom House, Ormskirk, Scarisbrick Hall, Ainsdale, Birkdale, Crossens, Greeves Hall, and more. Poignant, learned, and quite beautiful. Bookseller Inventory # D7341
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