Born in 1875, the great German lyric poet Rainer Maria Rilke published his first collection of poems in 1898 and went on to become renowned for his delicate depiction of the workings of the human heart. Drawn by some sympathetic note in his poems, young people often wrote to Rilke with their problems and hopes. From 1903 to 1908 Rilke wrote a series of remarkable responses to a young, would-be poet on poetry and on surviving as a sensitive observer in a harsh world. Those letters, still a fresh source of inspiration and insight, are accompanied here by a chronicle of Rilke's life that shows what he was experiencing in his own relationship to life and work when he wrote them.
In the nursery, only the toys that are old and wise truly understand what it means to be Real. The Velveteen Rabbit, a newcomer to the nursery, asks one of the most knowledgeable toys, the Skin Horse, what being Real means. And so begins the Velveteen Rabbit’s journey towards becoming real – through the love of a child . . . Margery Williams’ timeless picture book classic has been read and cherished by many generations of children and their parents and is now available in this beautiful hardback edition. Brought to life by gorgeous and much-loved classic illustrations by William Nicholson, with a new foiled cover design, this is a wonderful keepsake gift to treasure and share.
Nietzsche was one of the most revolutionary thinkers in Western philosophy, and Thus Spoke Zarathustra remains his most influential work. It describes how the ancient Persian prophet Zarathustra descends from his solitude in the mountains to tell the world that God is dead and that the Superman, the human embodiment of divinity, is his successor. With blazing intensity, Nietzsche argues that the meaning of existence is not to be found in religious pieties or meek submission, but in an all-powerful life force: passionate, chaotic and free. Translated with an introduction by R. J. HOLLINGDALE
The Brontë Sisters – The Illustrated Letters of the Brontës: The letters, diaries and writings of Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë
Wherever possible, their story is told using their own words – the letters they wrote to each other, Emily and Anne's secret diaries, and Charlotte's exchanges with luminaries of literary England – or those closest to them, such as their brother Branwell, their father Patrick Brontë, and their novelist friend Mrs Gaskell. The Brontës sketched and painted their worlds too, in delicate ink washes and watercolours of family and friends, animals and the English moors. These pictures illuminate the text as do the tiny drawings the Brontë children made to illustrate their imaginary worlds. In addition, there are facsimiles of their letters and diaries, paintings by artists of the day, and pictures of household life. This beautifully illustrated book offers a unique and privileged view of the real lives of three women, writers and sisters.
Although it is over 120 years since his infamous trial for indecency, Oscar Wilde has never held greater fascination for us. This packed illustrated biography tells the life of Oscar Wilde through his own words – private letters, poems, plays, stories and legendary witticisms. It includes his relationships with key artists and writers of the time, including John Ruskin, Charles Ricketts, and Lillie Langtry. It is illustrated throughout with paintings, engravings, contemporary photographs, cartoons and caricatures of Wilde and his social circle. With illustrations and paintings by Aubrey Beardsley, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, James Whistler and Max Beerbohm, it is a beautiful evocation of the glittering fin de siecle word by its most fascinating wordsmith and aesthete. The book details Wilde's ruin after the trial and its outcome. The profundity of his writing from prison and exile form an epitaph, not only to his own life, but also for the era that carelessly delighted in it.
Maybe our world will grow kinder eventually. Maybe the desire to make something beautiful is the piece of God that is inside each of us. In this stunning collection, Mary Oliver returns to the imagery that has defined her life's work. Herons, sparrows, owls and kingfishers flit across the page in meditations on love, artistry and impermanence. Whether considering a bird's nest, the seeming patience of oak trees or the paintings of Franz Marc, Mary Oliver reminds us of the transformative power of attention and how much can be contained within the smallest moments. Blue Horses asks what it truly means to belong to this world and to live in it attuned to all its changes. 'To be human,' she shows us, 'is to sing your own song'.
I go down to the shore in the morning and depending on the hour the waves are rolling in or moving out, and I say, oh, I am miserable, what shall- what should I do? And the sea says in its lovely voice: Excuse me, I have work to do. Whether studying the leaves of a tree or mourning her treasured dog Percy, Mary Oliver is beautifully open to the teachings contained within the smallest of moments. In A Thousand Mornings she explores, with startling clarity, humour and kindness, the mysteries of our daily experience.
Vincent van Gogh's letters have long been prized as some of the most valuable documents in the world of art. Not only do they throw light on Van Gogh's own complex and intriguing character, they enlighten the whole creative process as seen through his eyes. Here we can observe Van Gogh's thoughts and opinions at first hand, as well as his close ties with his brother Theo, his sometimes troubled relationships with friends and fellow artists, his personal doubts and fears, and above all his overriding passion for his art. This is not only an immense treasure trove of biographical and art-historical information, it provides a lasting pleasure as a personal written testimony to a life consecrated to art. Vincent van Gogh: A Life in Letters belongs on the shelves of every reader in search of self-revelatory documents of one of the greatest creative minds.
In 1855 Walt Whitman published his first collection of poetry, Leaves of Grass. The volume received great praise from leading Transcendentalist poet Ralph Waldo Emerson. This encouraged what would become a lifelong project as Whitman expanded and rewrote the volume until his death in 1892. Whitman's innovative use of free verse and the quotidian achieved his aim of reaching out to the everyday American. This edition, based on the earliest published version of 1855, features Whitman's most famous poem 'Song of Myself', an American epic inspired by his personal experiences.
The letters - at times witty and irreverent, at times melancholy and introspective – are possibly even more revealing for their insights into the complex personality of the novelist herself. "A true letter", she insisted, "should be like a film of wax pressed close to the graving of the mind". The book contains biographical notes on the main recipients of the letters, together with background information on Virginia Woolf's life and work. Frances Spalding's previous books include "British Art Since 1900" and biographies of the painters Roger Fry and Vanessa Bell. This book is beautifully illustrated with contemporary photographs and paintings, many by members of the Bloomsbury Group, such as Woolf's sister Vanessa Bell, Roger Fry and Duncan Grant.