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ARTIST'S DAUGHTER: A Fictionalised Memoir
Bibliophile price: £7.50
For lovers of Suffolk in general and Woodbridge and the Deben Valley in particular, Thomas Churchyard charted Georgian and Victorian scenery still charming us today. Sally Kibble has been inspired by those pictures to tell an authentic East Anglian story narrated by the artist's devoted daughter Ellen. A novel device indeed, celebrating both a paintable landscape and a painterly family. Thomas Churchyard (1798-1865) left few written records, but his daily outpourings of sketches and drawings are the pages of his diary. Together with the words of Bernard Barton and Edward Fitzgerald, they provide us with every detail, every gate and tree, the very fabric of 19th century Suffolk. The story weaves together these images and memories of the poet, writer and artist and gathers nearly 200 works of art by both Thomas Churchyard and his children, exquisitely reproduced in colour on these quality heavyweight large pages from this Antiques Collectors' Club publication. Many of the places depicted in the paintings are still recognisable today. Many are mementoes of days out, hand-drawn holiday 'snaps', a sketch stopped in mid flow by raindrops or signs of a broken nib, and each is alive with the voice of Thomas Churchyard. There are studies of sheep grazing, trees, a self portrait, an explosive sky, and exquisitely rendered in colour the Quay at Woodbridge. There is a convivial gathering of gentlemen drinking, extensive landscapes and valleys, the gravel pit at Plumstead Common, a valley of fern, Nelson's Column, Yarmouth, primroses on a bank, haystacks and a farm cart and on page 99 Harriet Churchyard's pen and wash drawing of Ferocious Mistress. An exquisitely romantic tour of the county, its flora and fauna, social graces and extensive beaches, churches and inns. 232 large pages.

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