Thursday, 24 June 2010

Thomas Bewick and A Shropshire Squire

In his Memoir, Thomas Bewick complimented the efforts of the ‘gentleman amateurs’ from Shropshire, namely John Freeman Milward Dovaston (1782-1854) and John Clavering Wood. Much is known about Dovaston, but J.C. Wood has largely remained a mystery – up until now.
 

The publication in June 2010 of A Shropshire Squire: Letters & Diary (1812-1825) of John Clavering Wood, Esquire, Marche Hall near Shrewsbury, not only offers a useful snapshot of the broad interests of a country gentleman of the period, but includes Thomas Bewick’s letter of 6 June 1825 to Wood, as well as Dovaston’s transcription of Bewick’s letter of 18 November 1823.
 

The book also succeeds in identifying a mystery profile silhouette which was ordered by Dovaston. The silhouette proved to be of Squire Wood.
 

Wood’s diary, covering 1819-1823, reveals the owner of the 350-acre Marche estate as a man with a strong curiosity about the natural world, as well as having an enthusiasm for ornithology, European travel, tree-planting, experimenting with horticultural techniques and cider-making, solving family legal problems, investing in locally-mined feldspar for use in china-making, and keeping bookshelves well stocked with volumes on natural history, philosophy and poetry.
 


The 200-page A Shropshire Squire includes illustrations, biographical notes, endnotes and a detailed index. It is available from Booka Bookshop, Oswestry ( or phone: 01691 662 244) and from the Shropshire Family History Society . Cost £9.99 + p&p. 
For more information, visit www.ggbooks.wordpress.com.
 
NEW BOOK: A Shropshire Squire: Letters & Diary (1812-1825) of John Clavering Wood, Esquire, Marche Hall near Shrewsbury. Edited by Gerard Benjamin & Gloria Grant. Published by Gerard Benjamin, Brisbane, 2010.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Contemporary Book Art

Gallery North, Artists' Book Fair, 26th June 2010 from 11am - 5pm.

Gallery North presents national and international Artist's Book Makers to the region to sell and promote their work directly to the public. An accompanying series of drop in workshops and demonstrations will take place on the day.


12 - 1.30pm 24 Minute Comic with Illustrator & Comic Artist Leonie O'Moore
2pm - 4pm Print your own Artist's Book with established Community Artist Kay Henderson.
All places are free, but must be booked.  Contact theresa.easton@northumbria.ac.uk.
Image: Building Blocks Book, Sumi Perera.
See Gallery North Website

 

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

THE THOMAS SPENCE MINI-FEST 2010

Thomas Spence, philosopher friend of Thomas Bewick, is to be honoured with a plaque at Broad Garth on the Quayside, Newcastle. The site chosen is close to the spot where Bewick and Spence famously came to blows.
This important event is to be marked by a "Mini-fest"organised by the Thomas Spence Trust.


EVENTS PROGRAMME

MONDAY 21ST JUNE 2010

2.30pm. Broad Garth, Quayside. The unveiling of the Thomas Spence plaque at Broad Garth, Quayside, Newcastle, by the Lord Mayor of Newcastle, with a short speech by Dr Keith Armstrong, Chair of The Thomas Spence Trust, and Armstrong’s ‘Folk Song for Thomas Spence’ performed by Gary Miller, singer-songwriter of North East band ‘The Whisky Priests’.
2.45pm. Informal reception with talks, readings from Spence and poems and songs in his honour in the Red House, Sandhill, Quayside.
(Anyone not already invited to the unveiling and the reception and wishing to attend should contact Dr Keith Armstrong on 0191 2529531).

7pm Literary & Philosophical Society Library, Westgate Road, Newcastle.  The Workers’ Educational Association and The Thomas Spence Trust present short talks on Spence by Professors Joan Beal (University of Sheffield), Malcom Chase (University of Leeds) and Alastair Bonnett (University of Newcastle), with readings from Spence by Dr Keith Armstrong.
(ADMISSION FREE).

TUESDAY 22ND JUNE 12.30PM

Marsden Grotto, Coast Road, South Shields. A TOAST FOR TOM. Drinks, poems and songs in Spence’s honour at the Grotto where Spence visited ‘Blaster Jack’ and first coined the phrase ‘The Rights of Man’ by chalking on a cave wall.
(ALL WELCOME).

MONDAY 28TH JUNE 2-3PM.

MEETING ROOM 7, 6TH FLOOR , NEWCASTLE CITY LIBRARY.
THE HIVE OF LIBERTY: The Life and Work of Thomas Spence.
Talk by Dr Keith Armstrong, Chair of The Thomas Spence Trust.
THERE WILL ALSO BE A DISPLAY OF SPENCE’S WORKS ON THE 6TH FLOOR OF THE LIBRARY, RUNNING FROM MONDAY 21ST jUNE TO MONDAY 5TH JULY.

FURTHER EVENTS, LATER IN  2010, INCLUDE THE NEWCASTLE LAUNCH OF THE RE-PRINT OF PROFESSOR MALCOLM CHASE’S ‘THE PEOPLE’S FARM’.

Further information from: Dr Keith Armstrong, The Thomas Spence Trust, 93 Woodburn Square, Whitley Lodge, Whitley Bay, Tyne & Wear NE26 3JD. Tel. 0191 2529531.
or click here to visit the Thomas Spence Trust's website.

Illustration: frontispiece, attributed to Thomas Bewick from " A SUPPLEMENT TO THE HISTORY OF ROBINSON CRUSOE, BEING THE HISTORY OF CRUSONIA" by Thomas Spence, 1782