Tim Richardson

Flora Delanica

Mrs Delany and Her Circle

By

Yale University Press 283pp £40 order from our bookshop

Quite why the editors of this otherwise exemplary book should insist on calling their subject Mrs Delany on the jacket rather than Mary Delany is a mystery. The use of her first name would have been a respectful and rehabilitating gesture for a female artist best known for her intricately cut ‘paper mosaiks’ of plants and flowers, whereas the old-fashioned ‘Mrs’ only serves to shore up the stereotypical ideas of genteel, domesticated amateurism which the twelve essays in this sumptuous book so comprehensively refute. 

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • The mystery of Jack the Ripper's identity has long been agonised over. But what do we know about his victims?… ,
    • A piece of Literary Review history from way back in 1983: John Haffenden talks to the great Iris Murdoch. ,
    • Britain’s only travelling lit fest, the Garden Museum Literary Festival is heading to Houghton Hall, Norfolk, for a… ,
    • 'The 19th-century German sage is not my idea of a pleasant travel companion' goes hiking with Friedr… ,
    • If you want ideas about what to read next, sign up to our free email newsletter, and get book reviews, archive mate… ,
    • 'The heroic male nude could not, I think, be used today to signify civic pride and glory', as Michelangelo’s 'David… ,
    • 'Munch’s later works show us a man liberated from the torments that gave rise to some of the best-known early works… ,