Poetry in Bloom Bookmark
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The Sensitive Plant and Early Poems, a collection by Percy Bysshe Shelley, was written in the wake of his child’s death. Shelley’s title poem describes a flower garden going through seasonal changes. First the garden embodies the joy and bliss of spring and summer, and later it becomes consumed by the decay and lethargy of fall and winter. With this poem, Shelley invites the reader to contemplate how the only connection to reality that we have is through fleeting sensations.
Original leather binding by Riviere and Son, a London-based binding house, dates from 1910 and features intricate inlay designs and gilt edges. This notebook features a recreation of the original’s front “doublure,” the inside face of the cover board. Protected from wear, this part provides bookbinders with additional room for unleashing their creative skills. Here, the binders created a naturalistic representation. The centerpiece, a sensitive plant—named for its reflex to fold its leaves when touched or shaken—is surrounded by chambers containing snowdrops and other richly hued and contrasting flowers, foliage, and butterflies.
The book that inspired this design came from the personal library of W. A. Spencer and now resides in The New York Public Library’s Spencer Collection of fine bindings and illustrated books.
The New York Public Library's collections contain millions of prints, photographs, maps, objects, manuscripts, and posters. Many of the items in our vast archives are accessible online - learn more at digitalcollections.nypl.org.
Dim: 7.25" x 1.5"
Item number: 8154-8