‘A Flower Wedding’ by Walter Crane

By oldenglishrose - Last updated: Thursday, April 14, 2011 - Save & Share - 2 Comments

Since the Old English Thorn and I finally became engaged the summer before last I have acquired a small stack of wedding themed books.  Most of it is of the fun and frothy, pastel covered, predictably plotted variety (which I’m actually rather looking forward to reading), but I have picked up a few more unusual wedding books.  A Flower Wedding: Described by Two Wallflowers by Walter Crane falls into this latter category.  I first became aware of Walter Crane’s artwork when I fell in love with the cover illustration for my copy of The Vet’s Daughter by Barbara Comyns and, on discovering the name of the artist, spent many happy hours browsing through his beautiful pictures on the internet.  As a lot of Crane’s work is in fact illustration I decided that it would be nice to start collecting his books and A Flower Wedding seemed like an appropriate volume with which to start.

A Flower Wedding is an illustrated verse story describing the marriage of Lad’s Love and Miss Meadow Sweet and is essentially an excuse for Crane to mention the names of as many flowers as possible so that he can draw them all.  It is a very short piece, each page featuring a single couplet or half couplet which provides a caption for the accompanying image, but it is perfectly wrought.  Crane’s illustrations are stunning and his incorporation of all the different flowers, both into the poem and into the pictures, is skilfully done.

The edition of this book that I have is an absolutely beautiful object, and one of the best arguments in favour of printed books that I’ve had the pleasure of reading for some time.  It is bound in soft cream cloth with designs embossed on the boards and spine in gold; the corners are pleasantly rounded; the paper inside is thick and creamy; the endpapers are bright and eyecatching; and there is a pretty ribbon to mark your place.  It was produced by the V & A Museum to tie in with their new exhibition The Cult of Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement 1860-1900 and I can certainly see why.  This is a book that I’m very glad to own and will definitely be returning to to admire the illustrations regularly.

A Flower Wedding: Described by Two Wallflowers by Walter Crane.  Published by V&A, 2011, pp. 40.  Originally published in 1905

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2 Responses to “‘A Flower Wedding’ by Walter Crane”

Comment from motheretc
Time April 15, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Those illustrations are great – and the fashions!

Comment from oldenglishrose
Time April 18, 2011 at 12:32 pm

They are beautiful, aren’t they? I’ve already chosen a wedding dress that I love, but if I could have two it would be marvellous to have one that looked like one of Crane’s drawings.

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