A Vision of Eden: The Life and Work of Marianne North review Á 103

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A Vision of Eden: The Life and Work of Marianne North review Á 103 ï Marianne North an unmarried middle aged Victorian lady of comfortable means set off in 1871 on her first expedition to make a pictorial record of the tropical and exotic plants of the world The fascinating story of her travels is told in this abriMarianne North an unmarried middle aged Victorian lady of comfortable means set off in 1871 on her first expedition to make a pictorial record. The long hard journeys were over and alas with them was gone the greater portion of that indomitable strength which had seemed never to flag which had carried her triumphantly trough poisonous climates never breaking down under incessant work fatigue bad food and all those hardships which few women travelling absolutely alone would have dared to face I have often thought how much her natural stately presence and simple yet dignified manner helped her in facing all sorts and conditions of men in those long distant journeys She inspired respect wherever she appeared and good men everywhere were ready and eager to help her Her work was always her first point for she travelled not to pass time as so many mere globe trotters do in this age of easy locomotion Her gallery at Kew is a monumental work to finish it se fought bravely against increasing weakness; when it was done her strength was also gone and the restful life she had dreamed of in her pretty Gloucestershire garden was not to beWhat an admirable and amazing woman

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Of the tropical and exotic plants of the world The fascinating story of her travels is told in this abridged and lavishly illustrated version. Took this down from my shelf as a gentle bedtime book It is a recurring joyExcerpts from the diary of one of the 'Travelling Englishwomen' of the 19th century Starting at age 40 when her father died MN travelled to many countries indefatiguably painting the flora and fauna she encountered The journal reads as a fairly commonplace travelogue of the places she goes to with brief mentions of the many people she meets and woth whom she stays She clearly had the entree into the homes of important British people throughout the world It is an unchallenging read for falling asleepMy copy includes reproductions of a number of her paintings These are workmanlike and richly colouredThe pleasure of the book is in her energy and commitment to the life she decided on when left bereft by her father's death And in the interest for me in learnign of the building she endowed at Kew gardens where her paintings and other items she collected are all on show Even the photographs suggest a place for a kind of artistic indigestion But I find her writing and her life and work interesting and endearing A woman of character and strength

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A Vision of Eden The Life and Work of Marianne NorthOf her memoirs and autobiography first published in 1893 Marianne produced than 800 paintings and they are housed in a special gallery at Kew. Great fun for readers who are into intrepid travellers and botany The books offers selections from North's lively cheerful accounts of her travels and color reproductions of her attractive botanical paintings