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Love From Kew

In stock
SKU
105461

Love From Kew is a postbag full of scribbled stories - tiny tales from visitors’ lives are entwined with Kew’s secrets in an imaginative and beautiful scrapbook of poetic postcard prose that sings with the spirit of the Gardens.

£15.00

Author: Sophie Shillito. 128 pp. 100  postcards. 160 x 200 mm. Hardback, ISBN 978 1 84246 732 9, Kew Publishing, 2020.

Love From Kew is a postbag full of scribbled stories - tiny tales from visitors’ lives are entwined with Kew’s secrets in an imaginative and beautiful scrapbook of poetic postcard prose that sings with the spirit of the Gardens.

Postcards let us look into lives – their scribbled stories are cryptic, funny and poignant. The everyday is captured in inky messages about birthdays, snow, exams, dancing, and love, written on picture postcards from Kew Gardens. Told with wonder and imagination, author Sophie Shillito entwines these tiny tales with secrets from the landscape which mumble through the turf and whisper in the bushes.

2020 marked 150 years since the first official postcards were launched in Britain, on 1 October 1870. Just as texting or Tweeting have grown rapidly in popularity today, postcard-passion swept the nation, peaking in 1913-14, when a record 926 million cards were sent – two and a half million a day. Love From Kew offers a fascinating insight into this social anthropology and micro-history, revealing the human need to connect with Kew and the natural world, as well as the importance of communicating with loved ones – two themes that are ever more precious and valued in recent times.

Read Sophie's blog about the book, A writer's love affair with Kew

Praise for Love From Kew:

I adore this book, which captures the magic of Kew and tells the stories of people who share my true love for the Gardens. Dame Judi Dench.

A gem of a book, combining a love of Kew Gardens with slices of everyday life, tied together with a ribbon of poetic storytelling. I loved it. Tracy Chevalier.

Postcards were the social media of Victorian and pre-digital Britain. Short messages penned at the time show how Britain’s premier garden lifted spirits and calmed anxieties during those often rare occasions when ordinary people were able to escape the daily job or relentless domestic duties. Kew remains an oasis of tranquillity in an increasingly frantic world. Francis Pryor, archaeologist and author.

Sophie’s rich and often wonderfully unexpected imagery makes this a delightful way to learn more about the Gardens’ history. Lisa Woollett, author and photographer

Media coverage:

... a book that is both charming in its simplicity and a reminder of the key role green spaces - and our access to them - can play in our daily life. Sorrel Everton, Gardens Illustrated

... this book is a chimera, combining archive, history and poetic fiction and hovering over three moments in time. Katy in the garden

A gorgeous window into history, with the most beautiful of backdrops. Best

 

Sophie Shillito writes about place, palimpsests, and micro-histories. Her first book, All The Little Places (Blue Mark Books, 2020) is a haunting poetic-prose tapestry of fairytale fragments. Sophie lives in London. She likes mudlarking and mountains. www.sophieshillito.com

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