Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Anna Seward and Botanical Elements Within Poetry

Image result for flora at play with cupidAnna Seward’s poem “The backwardness of spring accounted for” was written in 1783 and depicts botanical ideas and imagery throughout. The poem was most likely inspired by Deliciae Naturaeor ‘The Delights of Nature” the famous speech delivered by Linnaeus when his office as Rector at the University of Uppsala. The poem ranks botanical elements in some kind of hierarchy and gives them all a certain level of status, such as referring to grass as downtrodden peasantry. The poem praises Linnaean botany and its discoveries, thus introducing a hierarchy amongst the different plants as that was an integral part of Linnaean botany. Along with talking about different elements within nature, the poem also makes a link to children and the impact that the theme botany has on   Section of poem addresses children and childhood saying “Rejoice then my Children the hour is at hand When Botanical knowledge shall govern the land When the people of England with small pocket glasses Shall spend all their time in examining grasses When every School boy that pulls up a  hex [?] With pliars and needles shall search  for its sex When Gardener’s Girls their bouquets shall compose Corresponding in rank with their Customers nose Yes, yes, I perceive the great moment approaches When buds of distinction shall ride in their Coaches[…]”. This section of the poem highlights the fact that one day everyone in England, even school children will have an extensive interest and array of knowledge on the topic of botany and it will become a very popular hobby of sorts. The mentioning of children becoming fascinated and knowledgeable about botany shows us how Seward believes that botany is an important part of a child’s education and can help form and shape their minds for adulthood. This links to the ideas of famed physician of the period John Locke who believed that human nature is characterised by reason and tolerance. He believed that behaviour in children should be motivated by the “esteem or disgrace” they receive from their parents. As the children’s parents were most likely fascinated by Botany as many other adults were it would mean that children were encouraged by their parents to enjoy botany.The image above titled “Flora at play with Cupid” shows the two young gods sitting in a beautiful garden and playing together. This aspect of including the idea of botany with playing and having fun shows audiences how important entertainment is to children and their growth and how they should grow from the things available around them in order to become successful adults in the future. Having a skill for botany and attaining that knowledge is a useful skill for children to have and also keeps them grounded and connected to nature and the world around them.

 Emily Dimond

Wordsworth and the Industrial Revolution

Wordsworth and the Industrial Revolution:

Image result for wordsworth flowersWordsworth was a romantic poet born in 1770 in Cockermouth, England. As a poet he  on every aspect of nature and beautified it. Most of Wordworth’s poetry highlights the topic of the sublime in nature and how beautiful our surroundings are. He brought out the hidden, true beauty of life and showed it to all those who read his work. Romantic artists' work was based on creating images that portrayed everything as being beautiful and expressed the simple life. The centre of all their work was nature. Wordsworth and other romantics in the period believed that nature was the window to life and life’s meaning. Wordsworth believed that nature and plant life held the answer to a happy and healthy life for everyone. He tried to express to his readers through his poetry that the factories and mines brought by the industrial revolution were the cause of the social and economic problems of the period. Wordsworth wrote the poem “Composed upon Westminster Bridge” expressing these feelings saying “This City now doth, like a garment, wear the beauty of the morning; silent, bare, Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie Open unto the fields, and to the sky; All bright and glittering in the smokeless air. Never did sun more beautifully steep in his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill; Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!". These lines show us how beautiful Wordsworth thought nature was and how important it is for people’s mental health as nature keeps people calm and at peace with the world. Wordsworth wrote about how beautiful nature is and how much of a positive impact it has on day to day life. These positive poems on the sublime made readers aware of how much damage the industrial revolution was doing to nature and plant life at the time. Forests and green areas were being torn down and converted into space for machinery and factories. The impact of the pollution caused by said factories was also an issue as it was slowly destroying the plant life that still remained. Many poems written in this time period also mention how destructive the industrial revolution was. For example, William Blake’s poem, The Tyger personifies the industrial revolution and the destruction it has caused throughout the period. As botany and nature were both very important themes during the 19thcentury it was absolutely devastating when the muse of the Romantics was beginning to be taken away with them.

Wordsworth wrote many poems about the impact that nature has on children, specifically himself when he was a child. Wordsworth’s poem “The Prelude” was one of his great pieces of work which is him narrating his own childhood and upbringing until he leaves for university. Wordsworth talks about the wonder of nature and how much of a connection he felt to it as a child. One instance is when Wordsworth is ice skating with friends and is distracted by a beautiful star in the sky, so he leaves his friends and skates away to admire the nights sky. This shows us how Wordsworth felt a strong connection to nature as a child, thus him expressing that nature is an important factor in the upbringing of a child. A similar theme is featured in Wordsworth’s poem “Lines Written in Early Spring” in which he says “tis my faith that every flower enjoys the air it breathed”. This personification of the flowers within the poem links to the attitudes of botany in the period. In general botany plants were seen to be personified and respire just like humans do. This is an example of Wordsworth romanticising this theory and making it seem beautiful and sublime. As this was the aim of the Romantics, Wordsworth made a huge point in expressing that Botany and plant life is a huge part of living a happy and healthy life. Depicting flowers as ethereal creatures helps to promote the positivity of botany and how important it is to the upbringing of children in order to make them grounded individuals. People who have a closer relationship to nature, like Wordsworth, seem to live happier lives than those solely focused on money and materialistic items.

Emily Dimond

The History of Children's Literature

The History of Children’s Literature

Image result for a little pretty pocket bookLiterature has been a huge part of life since time began. Books have been used to entertain and educate mankind for centuries and continues to be a huge part of life to this day. The idea of literature aimed at children became a very important thought as  and entertaining young people will help to create a brighter future. For hundreds of years  stories were told through storytelling and myths which were spoken to children to teach them a lesson or simply help them to sleep at night. Stories of mythical creatures and faraway  became an important part of a child’s upbringing. The first modern children's book was written in the mid-18th-century in England. The growth of polite middle-class behaviour and the influence of the philosopher John Locke’s theories of childhood innocence combined to highlight the importance of childhood education and growth. ‘A Little Pretty Pocket Book’, was written and published in 1744 by John Newberry and is widely considered the first modern children's book. The book consisted of rhymes for each letter of the alphabet to help children learn the  letters. To promote the children’s book, it came with a ball for a boy and a pincushion for a girl. Although this book seems simple it was an important development which helped to shape children’s literature in the future. As the book was also educational, it helped with the schooling of children also and encouraged them with their studies. The book had many illustrations of the English countryside and the great outdoors. This meant that children that lived in the country would respect their surroundings and appreciate them, and children born in the city can see the importance and beauty of nature. Using botanical imagery within the book helped to make the book eye catching and keep the children interested in what they were reading and learning. The bright colours known to attract children also helped them to be drawn into the idea of reading a book.

Another great movement within children’s literature was The Brothers Grimm who preserved and published traditional tales which originated from Germany. The stories were a massive success and they were so popular that realistic children’s literature became uninteresting and only fairy tales were being read by children at the time. The Danish author Hans Christian Anderson did a similar thing and gathered fairy tales from around Europe and created and published his own fairy tales too. In 1812 the Swiss writer Johann David Wyss published the Swiss Family Robinsonin order to teach children about family values, good husbandry and self-reliance. The book became even more popular after being translated into French by Isabelle de Montolieu. Then came the Golden Age of literature which introduced Lewis Carroll’s tale, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderlandwhich was the first children’s novel to introduce the themes of the bizarre within it. The novel was regarded the first English masterpiece written for children. Other successful children’s books were also released in this period such as, Treasure Island, The Jungle Bookand Tom Sawyer. All of these books are still extremely popular children’s stories to this day and have all had a massive impact on the way children’s literature has been written since.

Then came the 19thcentury which is when children’s literature well and truly became a success. At the end of the Victorian era Beatrix Potter published her classic book The Tale of Peter Rabbit. The books also and beautiful illustration which helped the children to concentrate and imagine the animals and how they looked, thus making the story more engaging. Potter was seen to be the first author to use pictures as well as words to tell a story. The Kailyard school of Scottish writers helped to bring the idealised version of society back into popularity and helped to make the fantasy genre fashionable once more. Writers such as J.M Barrie, creator of Peter Pan, and Kenneth Grahame who wrote The Wind in the Willows both helped to bring back the wonder of children’s literature and fairy tales. The Golden Age of Children’s Literature ended with World War I and publishing became a lot more of a slow process. The main exceptions in England were the publications of Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne I 1926 and Mary Poppinsby P. L. Travers which have both since been put on the silver screen by global conglomerate Disney. With the introduction of the paper back we see Enid Blyton and The Famous Fivewho travelled across England on many adventures. These bestselling books became a motivation for kids to see the great outdoors as they would want to explore the countryside solving mysteries just as The Famous Fiveand The Secret Seven did.

In present day literature we still see the fantasy genre remaining the most popular within children’s literature as J.K Rowling’s Harry Potterseries of seven novels can be seen to be the one of the bestselling book series ever to be created as the series has been translated into 67 languages and sold all across the globe. Children’s literature still remains a massive market and is still a huge success globally.

Emily Dimond

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Italy Photo Diary

 As summer is very fast approaching I've been looking through photos of last summer to get me in the mood. As i haven't shared these photos from my holiday in beautiful Bari, Italy i thought why not post them now. The small towns were so beautiful and everything looked like it was from an old film. So this is what i saw through my little lens, I hope you enjoy these pictures as much as i do.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Next Level Denim

Sorry that this post is up late I've been really M.I.A recently, I had surgery and really didn't feel up to blogging this past week. But guess whose back, back again..... unfortunately not slim shady. Anyways whilst ive been off I discovered this little beauty. im sure you've all seen and drooled over the Alexa Chung AG jeans collection, mainly the beautiful military denim dress. Miss Selfridge released the perfect dupe to get the Alexa look but before I could grab my purse it was gone. Fortunately, Topshop realeased their denim offering and its a beauty. After seeing this on Media Marmalade I had to snatch it up. The light weight fabric is great for the upcoming warmer weather and the Denim and D-ring detail is perfect for the 70's trend of this season. I seriously cant get enough of this trend.

If you enjoyed this post and love the Alexa Chung collection as much as I do feel free to leave a comment down below.

Emily x

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Recent Reads

Since my birthday I've been buying a lot of books which I've absolutely loved. Some are books every blogger has talked about and others are not so popular and deserve so much more love. So I decided to give a quick overview of my top 3 books of the moment, here we go.
How to be Parisian
is written by a collection of Parisian writers including Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline De Maigret, and Sophie Mas. To put it simply the book gives an overview of a true parisienne and her attitude towards life. With pieces on love, style and bad habits. My favourite part of the book was the section on having one expensive staple item that will last forever and pull your whole closet together. I have definitely taken that advice without knowing by having a hat permanently stuck to my head for over a year. The book is stereotypically French but does it in such a humorous and subtle way that makes everyone identify with Parisian life.
Not That Kind of Girl
Is written by actress, author and screenwriter Lena Dunham. I have loved Lena for quite a while since falling in love with her character on Girls. Lena is hilarious and her honesty makes me wonder why everyone isn't straight up about things. Lena mostly talks about her own life experiences and how she dealt with them. The book just seems really familiar to me and its really comforting to know that someone as amazing as Lena goes through the same struggle as us people who aren't best friends with Taylor Swift (seriously is she friends with everyone?).
The Dress
Is written by my absolute favourite fashion illustrator of all time Megan Hess. Megan is an Australian illustrator who has done works for the likes of Tiffany's, Chanel, Dior, Cartier and Montblanc. Her drawings just show the outfits so well and are just astoundingly beautiful. When I went into Urban Outfitters last week and spotted her book I screamed a little, no exaggeration. The book shows 100 iconic moments in fashion arranged into categories of designers, weddings, film and music which gives such a wide variety of looks. Each drawing is crafted so well alongside a description and background of the dress. The book is so beautiful from cover to cover (not to mention it looks beautiful on my bookshelf).
So those are the books I've been reading and if you have any book recommendations for me or have read any of these books, feel free to leave a comment below!

Emily x

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Band Of Gypsies

Dress-Band Of Gypsies at Topshop
Boots- New Look
Bag-Kate Spade

As Spring is coming up I thought I'd get some more weather appropriate pieces to start the transition. Of course the piece was black. I am a creature of habit, so when stepping out of my comfort zone with an item I always go for a black option.

 This beautiful dress is from the brand Band Of Gypsies which sells 70's themed vintage pieces, perfect for this years SS15 trends. The brand is heavily influenced by global travel and vintage fashion throughout their collections which is best described as "modern take on romantic bohemia". I really surprised myself with this dress as its really not something I would usually go for. But after seeing the velvet detailed flute sleeved I caved. It is surprisingly the most comfortable dress ever, and also comes with a slip underneath that a normal human can actually put on (yes, they have answered our prayers, or at least mine anyway). This is great as I struggle to find slips of a good length to suit different dresses.  I think this dress is absolutely  perfect for my summer trip to New York in July as the lightweight fabric is not stuffy at all. After buying this and wearing it, even in the rain, I've decided to really commit to the 70's trend throughout my SS wardrobe.