Thursday, December 25, 2014

Harriet Isabel Adams 1863-1952


I recently posted (click here) a plea for information about a mystery artist and botanist called H.Isabel Adams, who produced some delightful wild flower illustrations in an old book that I'd bought. Thanks to the wonder of Twitter, and particularly to the following
@HerbariumDonna
@lukaslarge
@SarahAMorrish
@Haggewoods
@mumblinglylow
@botanicalmartin

... who pointed me in the right direction, I now have some biographical details.
























Her full name was Harriet Isabel Adams. She was born in 1863 and trained as an artist at Birmingham School of Art, before becoming a noted Arts and Crafts illustrator, although as far as I can ascertain she only published these wild flower books and a book of fairy tales. Apparently she produced some fine designs for ex libris book plates. She was a Fellow of the Linnaean Society and lived to the age of 89, dying in 1952.


There don't seem to be many copies of her wild flower book available on the internet via Abe books but numerous mounted examples of the book plates are available, suggesting that many of the books were broken up for their plates. It's easy to see why - they are wonderfully stylish and elegant.




7 comments:

  1. You have a bargain no matter what it cost.
    Happy you managed to find out more about her.

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    1. £15 at the time, but seems like a better bargain with every passing year!

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  2. The illustrations are just delightful and so charming - I am so glad you managed to find some information about her. The book looks like a real find :)

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    1. Loved it ever since I found it on a dusty bookshelf in a second hand bookshop!

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  3. thanks for sharing these, such a joy!

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. I must admit I've been fascinated by old natural history books, and their authors, for many years. Finding out about the authors often gives interesting insights into social history too.

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