Saturday, 13 May 2017

The Adventures of Madalene and Louisa

I was teaching last week in a new town and popped into a charity shop and found an odd treasure. It is rare for me to find interesting children's books in charity shops now. Most charity shops here in Scotland have stopped even stocking children's books and the ones that do, usually only keep new ones, I dread to think what they are doing with all of the older books.
This book was published in 1980 but has been created by Tim Jeal using the teenage drawings of his great, great, Aunts; Madalene (1848- 1939) and Louisa Pasley(1847-1929) the youngest of the nine children of Admiral Sir Thomas Pasley, Bart. and Jane Matilda Lily Wynyard.

These girls the youngest siblings of seven older brothers seem to have been left to their own devices and certainly escaped the charge of various governesses. Their world was one of entomology and this book has been created from their own incredible drawings of the adventures they had capturing and studying the rich diversity of insect life that existed in the British countryside of the mid-1800's.They have drawn themselves as older spinsters wrestling with gigantic insects and the pictures and stories are both funny and alarming (those poor insects). I love books like this that would most probably never get published now, this is a gem of unique history and a fascinating insight into the enquiring minds of these two young ladies and the flora and fauna of their childhood.