Mrs. Delany and Her Circle

Cover, Mrs. Delany and her Circle

Edited by Mark Laird and Alicia Weisberg-Roberts

With contributions by Alicia Weisberg-Roberts, Mark Laird, Clarissa Campell Orr, Clare Browne, Hannah Greig, Amanda Vickery, Kim Sloan, Maria Zytaruk, Janice Neri, John Edmondson, Lisa Ford, Kohleen Reeder, Peter Bower, and Charles Nelson

Published by the Yale Center for British Art in association with Yale University Press

416 pages, 12 x 9 1/2 inches, 310 illustrations, cloth, ISBN 978-0-300-14279-2

Publication date: December 1, 2009


At the age of 72, Mary Delany, née Mary Granville (1700–1788), embarked upon a series of nearly 1,000 botanical collages, or “paper mosaics,” which would prove to be the crowning achievement of her rich creative life. These delicate hand-cut floral designs, made by a method of Mrs. Delany’s own invention, vie with the finest botanical works of her time. More than two centuries later, her extraordinary work continues to inspire. Although best known for these collages, Mrs. Delany was also an amateur artist, woman of fashion, and commentator on life and society in eighteenth-century England and Ireland. Her prolific craft activities not only served to cement personal bonds of friendship but also allowed her to negotiate the interconnecting artistic, aristocratic, and scientific networks that surrounded her. This ambitious and groundbreaking book, the first to survey the full range of Mrs. Delany’s creative endeavors, reveals the complexity of her engagement with natural science, fashion, and design.


Winner of the 30th Annual George Wittenborn Memorial Book Award given by the Art Libraries Society of North America

Winner of the First Place award in the category of Exhibition Catalogues (over $10), given by the New England Museum Association

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