25 May 2009 – from Julie and Barry when they moved away

Another pick from the bags – they did well in not tempting me with TOO much.  Gwen Raverat is mainly known for her wood-engravings, including those to The Runaway, recently republished by Persephone.  But she was also a Darwin, cousin of Frances Cornford and wife of Jacques Raverat the painter. 

Gwen has appeared on the edges of other works about Rupert Brooke and the Neo-Pagans, the Bloomsburies and other 20th century figures, so it was good to find out all about her.  As the subtitle suggests, there is a nice lot of detail about the people around her as well as Gwen herself.  Meticulously researched and referenced, it doesn’t "take off" in the way a Holroyd bio does, but it’s workmanlike and efficient, like Gwen herself, and makes a good attempt at looking at how a female artist reconciles family and artistic life.

A good addition to my collection and lavishly illustrated.