When I was twelve, I had the opportunity to spend an afternoon in the legendary bookshops of the Welsh town of Hay-on-Wye. For £5, I purchased an ancient copy of Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poetry, published in 1883, nine years before his death. What a world of wonder it opened up to me! It may have even changed my life. On one of the front pages, spotted with yellow patches of age, I found an inscription identifying the book’s first owner: “To Lilian Henderson from the Parents of the Infant School of S. Mark’s South Teddington in token of their love and appreciation of her kindness to their children. Jan 31. 1884.” Well over a century before, this woman had held my book in her own hands and loved it when it was new and the golden gilt edges still shone. In my imagination, I created Lilian Henderson. She had dark hair and spoke with a soft voice and wore plain white dresses edged with lace.
To read the rest of the story about how Tennyson's poetry has impacted my life, and how Lilian Henderson's little slips of handwritten poetry ignited my passion for traditional calligraphy, check out my latest blog post at bryanajoy.com! Also, Crossing The Bar prints are listed on Etsy now! [link in bio]
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