These twenty-four paintings rank amongst Canaletto’s greatest works and have never been published or exhibited before. Commissioned in 1731 by the future 4th Duke of Bedford, they have hung in the dining room at Woburn since 1800; visitors to Woburn can only see them at a distance and the author -a Canaletto expert – had to rely on his own pencil sketches as notes for writing up the text. This lavishly illustrated book accompanies the exhibition at the Holbourne Museum in Bath that is due to open on May 16th.
A memoir from one of the world’s great handbag designers: a hugely successful entrepreneur, Anya is also a trustee of the Royal Academy and of the Design Museum; she’s a Greenpeace ambassador and CBE too. Her energy, design vitality and commitment are legendary. In this book she shares her first half century, the joys and complexities of an extremely busy life that includes five children as well as her global business – mentoring, parenting, step-parenting, self-care of body and mind, decision-making, leadership, sustainability, kindness, trusting one’s own judgement, fears, doubts, hopes and joys. It’s about being a woman, a human being, and the concomitant challenges; it doesn’t list her achievements, the articles in Vogue, or the chronology of her business; her interest in fashion is about what it makes a person feel, rather than its frilliness. Abounding in good sense and optimism, the book is very personal and very generous.
Curiosity is Attlee’s great virtue: here she takes us on the journey, through space and time, of one violin, whose voice “was powerful enough to unbuckle joints”. Cremona, Russia, Venice, Alpine forest, the Welsh borders… (Her last book, ‘The Land Where Lemons Grow’, about Italy and its citrus fruit, is a great favourite of ours and deservedly a best-seller.)
Olga Tokarczuk, translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones, illustrated by Joanna Concejo
A strange and beautiful tale by the Nobel laureate; short but very sweet, a touch melancholic but full of hope: a man has lost his soul – and therefore himself. What must he do for his soul to return to him? Told as much by the quiet pencil illustrations as by the text. Outstanding. Ages 6 to 100 – the older you are, the more likely it will make you weep.
As ravishing as it is fascinating: a history of botanical photography from Fox Talbot, via Edward Weston, Nobokuni Enami and other C20th artists, to contemporary work by Ori Gersht, Helen Sear et al. This catalogue is to accompany the show at Dulwich Picture Gallery that no one has yet been able to see – fingers crossed for May! Stunning.
Those who read Clare’s Something of His Art, about J S Bach, or The Light in the Dark: A Winter Journal (or others) will know that Clare is a writer of exquisite sensibility and nuance. He is also prey to depression, and this memoir of his hospitalisation under Section 2 of the Mental Health Act for an acute breakdown is characteristically articulate and intelligent. It’s also an optimistic book that looks at new ideas of treatment and approach.
With pictures mostly from the Tretyakov in Moscow, from Kazan, and from several private collections, this gorgeous book blossoms with the unfamiliar. It includes work by Larionov, Goncharova, Repin, Serov, Malevich, Polenov, Korovin and many others… It is a visual feast, and the text is excellent.
A sparkling, intelligent novel, first published in 1964 and just re-issued by Faber & Faber. It is set over the course of a decadent fancy dress party on a snowy New Year’s Eve, with all the guests in 18th C finery. The unfolding comedy of manners is a tribute to BB’s love of opera, and her heroine’s great obsessions: ‘Mozart, sex and death’.
A biography of that most feline and superb of all creatures, Jeoffry, imortalised by Christopher Smart in his glorious mid-C18th paean. Charming, witty, profound, this is a marvellous biography of the poet and his world, as well of his companion, the “compleat cat”: tenacious, grave, wreathing, spraggling… Oliver Soden’s previous book was a much-praised biography of Michael Tippett (2019).
Lovely catalogue to the current exhibition at Piano Nobile in Portland Road, London. Sea-green cloth spine and sturdy boards; the cover cunningly reproduces one of Nicholson’s reliefs- in relief. Comprises a mix of his carved abstract reliefs and landscape drawings, 22 in total, beautifully photographed and presented, from the period 1958-onwards when the artist lived in the Ticino, Switzerland. Includes some previously unpublished material on the period. Accompanied by essays by Lee Beard, Peter Kharoche and Chris Stephens.
From the author of the biography of Shchukin comes the story of another extraordinary pre-Revolutionary Russian collector of European art. He spent 1.5 million francs on 486 paintings, which stayed in storage for many decades.
A fascinating introduction to one of the most important Buddhis texts, balanced by Kerr’s experiences in Kyoto, Tibet, Mongolia, Korea and India. Kerr has spent most of his adult life living and working in Japan; a writer, art dealer and calligrapher, he is the first foreigner to win a major prize for a work of non-fiction published in Japan.
Richly illustrated book presenting the gorgeous Chinoiserie floral and avian wallpapers in the houses where they have been used. The author founded the company thirty years ago, setting up a studio in China with local artisans and painters.
This is an astonishing book that will change our understanding of the world in dizzying ways. Wohlleben’s ‘wood-wide web’ is but a part of the phantasmagoric abundance of fungal life that Sheldrake junior reveals. Everyone should read this.
This will be THE book in interiors for the season. Nathalie & Miguel will sign copies for us, so do let us know if you would like one. We’re only sorry that Covid-19 prevented a splendid party to celebrate this.
There are those who swear he was a spy, others who insist he was too scatty or essentially lazy to be one. Whatever the truth, he was an exceptional linguist (Iranian, Afghan Persian, Arabic, Pushtu, Urdu, Swahili and the usual European languages) with connections in surprising places. His early death this year was a great sadness to many, including many writers who have contributed to this compendium of biographical tributes, published by Eland.
SM has long seemed just on the edge of breaking into the literary big time. Her last novel (Ghost Wall, pbk £8.99) was a slim masterpiece in 2018, and this builds on the same eerie atmosphere and familial claustrophobia. Twelve narrators are trapped by rain in their holiday cottages on the banks of Loch Lomond. Over the course of one day they observe each other – sometimes with amusement, sometimes cruelty – and as the night falls, things begin to go terribly wrong.